Cleaning and Maintaining Your Invisalign® Aligners

How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth. One of the key benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, making it easy to maintain good oral hygiene throughout treatment.

However, it’s important to properly clean and maintain your aligners to ensure they stay clear, odor-free, and free of bacterial buildup. By following these tips from our Wasilla Invisalign provider, you can help ensure a successful and comfortable treatment experience.


Before you put your aligners in, make sure to rinse them off thoroughly. Rinse them under cold water to remove any saliva or food particles that may be on them. You should also rinse your mouth out before putting them back in. This will help remove any bacteria or food particles that may be stuck in your teeth or gums.


When it comes to brushing your Invisalign aligners, it’s essential to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. You don’t want to use anything too harsh that could scratch or damage them. Gently brush your aligners, just as you would with your teeth. Be sure to rinse them off thoroughly with cold water afterward.

Soak Your Aligners

In addition to rinsing and brushing, you can also use a cleaning solution to help keep your Invisalign aligners clean. Most dentists recommend using a clear, antibacterial soap with lukewarm water. Mix a small amount of soap with water and soak your aligners in the solution for around 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse them off thoroughly afterward to remove any leftover soap residue. Never use bleach or other hard chemicals to clean your aligners. These can damage the plastic and make it more visible.

Dry Aligners Properly

When not in use, for example during meal times, keep the aligners in a case and let them air dry. Avoid using a cloth as it can leave lint behind on your aligners.

Aligner Inspection

Before reinserting, inspect your aligners for any calcium or tartar buildup that can appear as a cloudy white film. If you see this, you may need a specialized product or help from your orthodontist to remove it.

dental hygiene products

Caring for Your Teeth

Good oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. When using Invisalign, it’s essential to take extra care of your teeth to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

Here are some tips to care for your teeth while using Invisalign:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damaging your teeth and gums.
  • Floss daily: Floss your teeth every day to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. This will help prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Use mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. This will help reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent bad breath.

Invisalign Maintenance Tips

Foods to Avoid

While using Invisalign, it’s essential to avoid certain foods that can damage your aligners or cause dental problems. Here are some foods you should avoid:

  • Hard and crunchy foods: Foods like popcorn, nuts, and hard candy can damage your aligners or cause them to crack.
  • Sticky and chewy foods: Foods like caramel, gum, and taffy can stick to your aligners, making them difficult to clean. They can also cause cavities and other dental problems.
  • Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice can cause tooth decay and other dental problems. Limit your intake of these drinks, and rinse your mouth with water after drinking them.

Other Helpful Guidelines

Additional tips and tricks on Invisalign care that can help you get the most out of your treatment include:

  • Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day to ensure the best results. The only time you should remove your aligners is when eating, brushing, or flossing.
  • Use a retainer case. When you remove your aligners, store them in a retainer case to prevent loss or damage.
  • Use the right cleaning tools. Never use colored or scented soaps because they can discolor your aligners. You should also avoid toothpaste with whitening agents, as these can cause buildup and cloudiness on the aligners.
  • Schedule regular checkups with Dr. Dawson. Regular visits with your Invisalign dentist are essential to monitor your progress and ensure that your treatment is on track.
young girl holding up her Invisalign aligners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use mouthwash to clean my Invisalign aligners?
How often should I clean my Invisalign aligners?
Can I use a toothbrush to clean my aligners?
Can I use hot water to clean my aligners?
Can I use mouthwash to clean my Invisalign aligners?

While it may be tempting to use mouthwash to clean your aligners, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t. Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol, which can cause the plastic to become brittle and crack or break, rendering them useless. Mouthwash can also create small cracks in the aligners, making it easier for bacteria and other harmful substances to build up.

How often should I clean my Invisalign aligners?

You should clean your aligners at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. However, it’s best to rinse them off whenever you take them out to eat or drink anything besides water. Taking these steps will help remove any food particles or bacteria that may be on the aligners. 

Can I use a toothbrush to clean my aligners?

Yes, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your aligners. Be sure to use non-abrasive toothpaste and rinse them off thoroughly afterward. It’s also important to be gentle when brushing your aligners, as brushing them too hard can scratch or damage the plastic. Be sure to use a light touch and gentle circular motions to help remove any buildup.

Can I use hot water to clean my aligners?

No, it’s not recommended to use hot water to clean your aligners. Hot water can warp the aligners’ plastic, causing them not to fit properly. This can not only make your treatment less effective but can also be uncomfortable to wear. Instead, stick to rinsing with cold water or lukewarm water when using a cleaning solution to help keep your aligners clean.

Contact Northwind Dental for Invisalign Treatment

You deserve to have a comfortable, stress-free treatment process, and that starts with proper care for your Invisalign aligners. Don’t wait another day to take action. Contact our Wasilla dental office at (907) 373-2440) to learn more about caring for your Invisalign aligners and taking the first step toward the smile of your dreams.

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