If you are looking to straighten your teeth but do not want visible or bulky braces placed on your teeth, you may try invisible aligners, such as Invisalign. Invisible liners are trays typically made from clear plastic material that help to shift teeth. Most people think that since the invisible aligner is worn over the teeth, it can be cleaned with toothpaste and a toothbrush, just like your teeth. However, there are different ways that you can clean your invisible aligner, none of which include using toothpaste. Here are a few different ways you can clean your invisible aligner.
Soap and Water
One of the easiest and fastest ways to clean your invisible aligner is to soak it in a mixture of soap and warm water. You can use various types of soap, including antibacterial soap or even dish soap. The key is to place your aligner in the mixture while the water is still warm and the bubbles are still bubbly. You should soak your aligner for about 30 minutes, or until the water cools and the bubbles break down. Rinse your aligner well before placing it in your mouth.
Vinegar and Water
Another way to clean your invisible aligners is to soak your aligner in a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts warm water. Always ensure the water is warm but not too hot. If the water is too hot for you to touch, it can soften your plastic aligner and cause it to be misshaped. Allow your aligner to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before removing and rinsing it. Vinegar can help to remove smells, which is perfect if your aligner is starting to smell funky.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Water
Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and warm water to create a cleaner for your invisible aligner. Then soak your aligner for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is great at lifting stains, so if your aligner is starting to yellow or stain, this is a great cleaner to use. The more stained your aligner is, the longer you should soak it.
A Retainer Cleaner Tablet and Water
Lastly, there are retainer cleaner tablets that are sold in drug stores and at big box retailers. These look and act like denture cleaners. Drop the tablet in the amount of water that is stated on the box and put your aligners in. The tablet will begin to fizz when it hits the water, which helps to deep clean your aligners. This method can be used for daily cleaning or for weekly deep cleaning.
If you are looking to get a straighter smile, invisible aligners may help to shift your teeth into the position you want for a straight smile. Consult with an orthodontist today to learn whether you are a good candidate for invisible aligners or if you should consider traditional braces to shift your teeth instead. Schedule a consultation to get started today.