How to Clean Invisalign - Expert Tips for Best Results

how to clean invisalign

Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is crucial for maintaining oral hygiene and ensuring the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. Specialised cleaning products like Invisalign Cleaning Crystals and other cleaning accessories Invisalign sells, such as Steraligner, can help keep them clear and free of bacteria. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the plastic and cause a poor fit.

We must also be mindful of what we use to clean our aligners. Specialised cleaning products like Invisalign Cleaning Crystals can help keep them clear and free of bacteria. Be careful to avoid toothpaste, as it can be too abrasive and may scratch, causing your aligners to become cloudy.

Establishing a regular cleaning routine will not only help keep your aligners in top condition but also contribute to overall oral health. Proper care ensures that your aligners remain transparent and less conspicuous, enhancing the Invisalign treatment experience.

In the interest of time, here's what you need to know about cleaning your Invisalign aligners:

Daily Brushing and Rinsing

  • Brush aligners with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm water.
  • Avoid using toothpaste; it’s too abrasive and can scratch aligners.
  • Do not consume anything but water while wearing your Invisalign aligners
  • Wash your teeth and floss after each meal to minimize bacteria and plaque buildup.

Using Invisalign Cleaning Crystals and Invisalign Cleaning System

  • Dissolve cleaning crystals in lukewarm water.
  • Soak aligners for 15-20 minutes.
  • Gently shake the container and rinse thoroughly.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions

  • Use a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water.
  • Soak aligners for 15-20 minutes, then rinse well.
  • Hydrogen peroxide (equal parts with water) can also be used for soaking.

Avoid Harmful Cleaners

  • Do not use hot water, toothpaste, or baking soda; they can damage aligners.
  • Avoid mouthwashes with dyes or alcohol, and denture cleaners.
  • Do not use scented or coloured soap

Consult Your Provider

  • Seek professional advice for any persistent issues or discomfort.
  • Regular check-ups ensure aligners fit properly and oral health is maintained.

For more detailed explanations and additional information, please continue reading the rest of the article.

Importance of Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

Cleaning Invisalign aligners is essential for preventing build-up of bacteria, maintaining good oral hygiene, and ensuring that the aligners remain clear and effective.

Invisalign Aligner Care Essentials

Keeping our Invisalign aligners clean is crucial to avoid a range of problems. Food particles and plaque can become trapped in the aligners, leading to bad breath and an increased risk of tooth decay.

If we don’t clean them regularly, our Invisalign aligners can get stained, which affects their appearance and makes them more noticeable. Unlike metal braces, clear aligners such as Invisalign are designed to be discreet. To maintain this invisibility, daily cleaning is necessary.

To prevent staining and keep our mouths fresh, we should avoid consuming dark-coloured foods and drinks while wearing our aligners. This simple step helps us keep both our teeth and aligners looking their best, ensuring effective treatment.

Keeping Invisalign aligners clean is not just about aesthetics; it's also about maintaining our overall oral health. Regular cleaning prevents bacterial build-up, which could otherwise lead to dental issues down the line.

Daily Cleaning Routine

person holding clean invisalign aligners

Incorporating a thorough oral hygiene routine is essential when using Invisalign aligners. We need to pay close attention to our oral hygiene when using Invisalign aligners. This means including both brushing and rinsing as part of our daily practices. Here’s how to keep our aligners and teeth clean throughout the day.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Every morning and night, it’s essential to start your oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing your teeth. This helps remove food particles and plaque that can lead to bacterial buildup. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for the best results.

Brushing for at least two minutes ensures we reach all surfaces of our teeth. Flossing is just as important because it cleans the areas between our teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. This prevents tooth decay and keeps our oral hygiene in check.

Rinse Your Aligners

After we brush and floss, we should always rinse our aligners with lukewarm water. Hot water can warp the plastic, so it's important to use water that is not too hot.

Rinsing after each meal is also necessary to remove food particles and reduce bacteria. This quick step makes a huge difference in keeping our aligners fresh and clean.

Gently Brush Your Aligners

Besides rinsing, gently brushing our aligners daily helps maintain their clarity and cleanliness. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear, mild liquid soap.

Avoid toothpaste as it can be abrasive and cause scratches on the aligners. Brush both the inside and outside surfaces gently to remove any lingering bacteria or food particles. This keeps our aligners looking clear and feeling fresh in our mouths.

Deep Cleaning Methods

When it comes to deep cleaning our Invisalign aligners, several techniques can help maintain their clarity and effectiveness. Let's explore specific methods using cleaning crystals, alternative household items, and products to avoid using.

Using Invisalign Cleaning Crystals in the Invisalign Cleaning System

Invisalign cleaning crystals are a powerful tool for deep cleaning. They help to eliminate plaque and remove stains without damaging the aligners.

To use them, dissolve the crystals in a cup of lukewarm water and soak the aligners for 15-20 minutes. After soaking, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush away any remaining debris, then rinse thoroughly with water. The cleaning process using crystals is simple yet effective, ensuring our aligners stay clean and odour-free.

Alternative Household Items

For a natural approach, we can use items commonly found at home to clean Invisalign trays. Distilled white vinegar is a popular option. Mix a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water and let the aligners soak for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, brush them gently and rinse well.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used. Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, then soak the aligners for 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any lingering taste. These alternatives offer a cost-effective way to keep our aligners clean.

Any Cleansers to Avoid?

It’s essential to avoid certain cleansers that could damage our aligners. Do not brush the aligners with baking soda. Despite its popularity for cleaning, is too abrasive and can scratch the surface of the aligners, leading to potential damage.

We should also steer clear of toothpaste, as it often contains abrasive particles harmful to the aligners. Additionally, hot water and mouthwashes with dyes or alcohol can warp or discolour the trays. Sticking to gentle, non-abrasive cleansers is crucial for keeping Invisalign aligners in top condition.

Invisalign Cleaning - Dos and Don'ts

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring the aligners work effectively. Here are some dos and don'ts for cleaning your Invisalign aligners.


  • Remove and Clean Daily: We should take out our aligners each morning and night to clean both the trays and our teeth thoroughly.
  • Rinse Regularly: It’s important to rinse the aligners every time we take them out.
  • Brush and Floss: Before putting the aligners back in, we should always brush and floss our teeth to prevent plaque build-up.
  • Soak Daily: Soak the aligners daily in a cleaning solution and let them dry before wearing them again.
  • Use a Protective Case: When not wearing or cleaning the aligners, we should keep them in their protective case.


  • Avoid Eating and Drinking: We must not eat or drink anything other than plain water while wearing the aligners.
  • No Coloured Soaps: It's best to avoid using coloured or scented soaps to clean the trays as they may leave residue.
  • No Denture Cleaners: Denture cleaners are not suitable for Invisalign trays.
  • Avoid Hot Water: We should never wash or rinse aligners in hot water to prevent warping.
  • Skip Mouthwash for Cleaning: Mouthwash can discolour and damage the aligners.
  • Avoid Warm, Humid Storage: Storing aligners in a warm or humid environment can promote bacteria growth.
  • Do not smoke while wearing invisalign - tobacco fragments and particles can get stuck and could lead to tooth decay 1and the smoke could also stain the aligners

By following these guidelines, we can ensure our Invisalign aligners stay clean and effective throughout our treatment.

Maintaining Hygiene Throughout the Treatment

Keeping our Invisalign aligners clean is important for both our oral health and the effectiveness of the treatment. By following a daily routine, we can ensure our aligners stay clear and free of bacteria.

Regular Aligner Cleaning

To start, we need to brush and floss our teeth at least twice a day. Always brush before putting our aligners back in after meals. This prevents food particles from getting trapped and causing plaque build-up.

We should clean our aligners every night. Use a soft toothbrush and clear, unscented soap. Avoid using toothpaste as it can scratch the aligners and make them more noticeable.

Additionally, soaking aligners in a cleaning solution can help. Soak for about 15 minutes, then brush gently before rinsing.

Never use hot water to clean the aligners, as it can warp them. Sticking to lukewarm or cold water will keep them in good shape.

Handling and Storing Aligners

When we’re not wearing our aligners, it's crucial to store them properly. Always use the case provided to keep them safe and clean.

Avoid leaving aligners out in the open or wrapping them in tissues. This can expose them to bacteria and increase the risk of losing or damaging them.

Wash hands thoroughly before handling the aligners to prevent transferring germs onto them. Remember to handle them gently to avoid cracks or breaks.

Consistency in cleaning and storing practices ensures our aligners remain hygienic and functional throughout the treatment process. Keeping these habits will enhance our Invisalign experience and help achieve the best results.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Cleaning Invisalign aligners is crucial, but sometimes problems still arise. We’ll cover how to handle stained aligners, bad odours, and potential damage.

Dealing with Stained Aligners

Stained aligners can make your teeth appear less clean. The best way to prevent stains is to clean Invisalign trays daily. Use clear, anti-bacterial soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste as it can be abrasive and cause scratches, making stains worse. Brushing your aligners will help prevent the buildup of biofilm and bacteria 2

For stubborn stains, soak your aligners in a mix of half water and half vinegar for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards. Avoid using coloured mouthwashes or drinks with strong colours, like coffee and red wine, as they can contribute to staining.

Addressing Odour in Aligners

Odour can develop if you don’t clean your aligners correctly. To fight bad smells, brush and floss your teeth before reinserting the aligners after every meal. Soaking your aligners in denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals once a day can also help keep them fresh.

Avoid leaving dirty aligners out in the open where they can gather bacteria. If the smell persists, try soaking in a solution of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. Rinse them well before wearing again to avoid any irritation.

Potential Damage and Repair

Aligners can sometimes get damaged. Inspect your aligners regularly for cracks or other damage. If you notice any issues, reach out to your orthodontist immediately. Do not try to fix them with superglue or any other household adhesive, as these can be harmful to your mouth.

If your aligners become loose or no longer fit properly, this might indicate a problem with your treatment progress. In such cases, contact your orthodontist to discuss whether you need a new set of aligners. Maintaining a consistent cleaning routine can also help reduce the risk of damage to your aligners.

Tips for Ensuring Effective Invisalign Cleaning

To keep our Invisalign aligners clean and clear, it's essential to use the right cleaning methods, safe agents, and avoid certain common mistakes. Following best practices helps maintain oral hygiene and the effectiveness of the aligners.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When cleaning our Invisalign, it's important to avoid using hot water. Hot water can warp the plastic, making the aligners less effective or uncomfortable to wear.

Another common error is using toothpaste or other abrasive cleaners. These can scratch the surface of the aligners, causing them to become cloudy.

Skipping daily cleaning or not rinsing them after eating can lead to bacteria build-up and bad breath.

Lastly, avoid soaking Invisalign in mouthwash. The dyes in mouthwash can discolour the aligners. Instead, use cleaning products specifically designed for Invisalign, such as the cleaning crystals sold by Invisalign.

Consulting your Invisalign Provider

Proper care of Invisalign aligners involves knowing when to seek professional advice and understanding the roles of different dental professionals. Here’s what you need to know:

When to Seek Professional Advice

We should reach out to our Invisalign provider if we notice any damage, unusual odours, or persistent stains on our aligners. Regular consultations with our provider can help prevent problems like tooth decay and poor oral hygiene.

If we see any signs of irritation or discomfort in our mouth, it's best to consult our provider immediately. They can conduct a scanning electron microscopy analysis to check for issues that aren't visible to the naked eye. Staying proactive helps ensure our treatment remains effective and our teeth stay healthy.

Remember to contact our provider if the aligners don’t fit properly. Aligners that don’t align correctly can hinder progress and may even cause further dental issues.

Invisalign Provider vs. General Dentist

It is important to understand the difference between an Invisalign provider and a general dentist. Our Invisalign provider specialises in this specific orthodontic treatment and has extensive training on how to use the system effectively. They can offer personalised advice and solutions for any problems we encounter with our aligners.

A general dentist focuses on overall dental health but may not have the specialised training needed for Invisalign. While they can provide some guidance, the expertise of an Invisalign provider is often more in-depth. Having access to the right professional ensures we get the best care for our specific needs.

Choosing an Invisalign provider over a general dentist means precision and expertise in managing our aligner care and treatment process. This specialisation helps us achieve the best possible outcome.

Aftercare and Long-Term Maintenance

Maintaining straight teeth after Invisalign treatment requires diligent hygiene and routine practices to keep your aligners clean and effective.

Post-Treatment Hygiene Routines

Daily Cleaning: We must clean our Invisalign trays every day to prevent plaque and stink. Rinse with warm water, not hot water which warps the trays.

Toothbrushing and Flossing: Brush and floss. Plaque and food can get stuck between teeth and the trays and cause bad breath and cavities.

Storage: When not wearing your trays, store them in a case to prevent damage or loss.

Regular Check-Ups: Visit us regularly so your teeth stay healthy and your trays fit. Any problems will be caught early.

Frequently Asked Questions

To clean your Invisalign trays and make them work, use safe stuff. Here are some of the most popular Invisalign hygiene questions.

Can I brush my Invisalign with toothpaste?

Brushing your Invisalign aligners helps remove bacteria, but toothpaste can be too abrasive and may cause scratches.

What is the best method to maintain Invisalign hygiene?

The best way to maintain Invisalign hygiene is to regularly use the Invisalign Cleaning System. You can also brush your aligners with a toothbrush and mild toothpaste, and rinse them thoroughly with lukewarm water. Never use hot water, as it can warp the plastic.

Can you safely utilise baking soda to cleanse Invisalign trays?

Yes, you can use baking soda to clean your Invisalign trays. Mix a spoon of baking soda with water to create a paste and soak your invisalign tray for about 20 to 60 minutes. This can help remove stains and odours.

How frequently should one clean their Invisalign trays?

You should clean your Invisalign trays at least twice a day, ideally after brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed. Additionally, it is a good idea to rinse them after meals to prevent plaque buildup.

Is using vinegar an effective method for sanitising Invisalign aligners?

Vinegar can be used to sanitise Invisalign aligners. Create a solution with 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Soak your aligners in this solution for fifteen minutes. After soaking, brush them gently and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Is it permissible to clean Invisalign trays with toothpaste?

Yes, it is permissible to clean Invisalign trays with toothpaste. Be sure to use a gentle toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste that contains whitening agents as they can scratch the surface of the aligners.

Can hydrogen peroxide be used to disinfect Invisalign trays?

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to disinfect Invisalign trays. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, and soak your aligners for 20 minutes. This will help kill bacteria and keep your trays clean. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water before wearing them again.

How to disinfect Invisalign after strep throat?

To disinfect your Invisalign after having strep throat, soak your aligners in a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water for 20 minutes. This will help to kill any lingering bacteria. Make sure to rinse the aligners well with lukewarm water before placing them back in your mouth.

Is it OK to clean your Invisalign with soap?

It is safe to clean your Invisalign with mild, unscented soap. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a small amount of soap to brush your aligners. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water to ensure all soap residue is removed before wearing your trays.