Most people undergo some sort of teeth alignment treatment in their life. Having great-looking teeth is not the prerequisite of anything, but they play a significant role in how other people see you. Many still use traditional braces, but more people are deciding to get Invisalign retainers for a number of reasons.
Amongst a few differences, cleaning Invisalign retainers is much easier than keeping the same level of oral hygiene with fixed braces. In this article, we’ll go over some of the techniques on how to deep clean Invisalign retainers, and how often you should clean them.
Every Invisalign dentist in Coral Gables should give you instructions in cleaning Invisalign retainers, but in case you need a reminder, keep reading.
How Often Should You Be Cleaning Invisalign Retainers?
The first and foremost question isn’t how to clean Invisalign retainers but how often you should do it.
Many people think that it’s enough to clean Invisalign retainers once a week when the truth is they should be cleaned every time you remove them. This means at least two times a day.
It’s important to keep a high level of oral hygiene throughout the day. This also means that your Invisalign retainers should be as clean as possible to prevent any tooth decay or unnecessary dental issues.
If not cleaned regularly and properly, the Invisalign retainers can become scratched or discolored, which will make them much more visible when you wear them. The fact that they are hard to see is one of the reasons why so many people decide to get them instead of traditional braces.
The Most Common Methods of Cleaning Invisalign Retainers
When it comes to the question of how to deep clean Invisalign retainers, there’s more than one way you can do it. Some methods are easier than others, but it’s important to clean the Invisalign retainers regularly to keep your oral hygiene at a high level no matter which method you choose.
Use a Soft Toothbrush and Dish Soap
The most common way of cleaning Invisalign retainers is by using a soft bristle toothbrush and soap. Make sure to use a separate toothbrush from the one you regularly brush your teeth with. You should also use warm water, but not too warm because it can cause the retainers to melt and deform.
You don’t need to use a lot of soap. A pea-sized drop will be more than enough. Gently brush both the inside and outside of the retainer and rinse thoroughly before returning it to your mouth.
Use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
The most recommended method of cleaning Invisalign retainers is to soak them in Invisalign cleaning crystals.
It’s a bit more expensive than other methods, but it’s the most common answer to the question of how to deep clean Invisalign retainers. All you need to do is dissolve the crystals in clean water and soak the retainers for about 15 minutes. You can do this during your regular oral hygiene routine. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the retainers before putting them back in.
If you’re planning a trip, make sure you pack these cleaning crystals because they’re hard to find outside of the US.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Although using hydrogen peroxide is a popular method on how to clean Invisalign retainers, it’s not as recommended as other methods we mentioned. Hydrogen peroxide eliminates bacteria from the retainers, but soaking them too often may cause permanent damage and discoloration to the retainers.
You’ll also need to brush them with a soft toothbrush and soap because the hydrogen peroxide won’t get rid of the plaque buildup on the retainers.
To clean your retainers using this method, mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with warm water and let the retainers sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing them.
What NOT to Do When Cleaning Invisalign Retainers?
Although it’s important to clean Invisalign retainers regularly, it’s easy to damage them if you don’t make sure you do everything how it should be done. There are a couple of things people commonly do that end up damaging the Invisalign retainers.
Most sedation dentistry offices give out clear instructions on how to clean Invisalign retainers. A lot don’t cover the “don’ts” of cleaning them.
People’s most common mistake is cleaning their retainers by using regular toothpaste. Toothpaste has certain minerals and additives that clean teeth but can cause scratches on the Invisalign retainers.
Another common mistake is soaking retainers in colored mouthwash. Although they feel minty-fresh after soaking, the mouthwash can stain the retainers. Mouthwash won’t damage the retainers, but make sure to use clear mouthwash and rinse them off with warm water after you do.
A Few Things on Invisalign Retainer Care
Invisalign is an incredibly popular way to get a better smile and straighten out teeth. So many people decide for Invisalign instead of traditional braces because it’s much easier to keep oral hygiene on a high level, and the Invisalign retainers are see-through, making them much more discreet than wired braces.
On the other hand, Invisalign retainers require more maintenance, and because they’re made from clear plastic, it’s important to know the proper care for them.
The reason why it’s important to clean the retainers every day is that saliva doesn’t have much room to come between the teeth and the retainers. Saliva is a body’s way of cleaning out debris from our teeth, and if the retainers aren’t clean, there’s a much higher possibility of tooth decay or discoloration during the alignment period.
Professionals from Gables Family Dentistry have a lot of experience with teeth alignment using Invisalign retainers, and they’ll give you clear instructions on how to keep your oral hygiene at a high level as well as clean the Invisalign retainers correctly during the time you’re wearing them.
Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal is important not just to keep your teeth healthy but to avoid trapping the debris between the teeth and retainers. Food debris can cause tooth decay much faster when there’s no saliva to wash it down, and the more the debris stays between your teeth, the higher the chances are for tooth discoloration.
Most Invisalign retainers come with a tray to put the retainers in, and for a good reason. These retainers can easily get damaged, and keeping them in the best shape will ensure you’ll have the best effect with the most discretion.
If you find this article about maintaining your Invisalign retainers useful and you know someone who can benefit from reading it, we encourage you to share it with your friends and family through social media.