When it comes to oral hygiene, all oral health practitioners coincide on the various benefits of teeth sanitation. At every dental consultation, dentists and specialists advise patients on the importance of proper brushing and flossing. Also, depending on each case, oral practitioners go a little further and recommend specific measures such as avoiding sugary foods or the benefits of using mouthwashes.
However, attention to detail is crucial when advising patients to use orthodontic devices to avoid oral problems like plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis, tooth loss, and infections propagating through the bloodstream. Although good oral hygiene is essential, even if you’re not wearing braces, an alternative to conventional orthodontic treatments eases the annoying stress of extreme sanitation measures.
Clear Alignment Systems are innovative orthodontic treatments with removable devices that bring patients comfort and the possibility of brushing and flossing normally. Despite patients having to clean their aligners frequently, detailed cleaning of brackets and wires has become a thing of the past.
This article addresses the cleaning methods and tools used for Clear Alignment Systems, emphasizing Invisalign as a referent brand and its core benefits.
How Often to Clean Invisalign?
So far, we have swiftly described that Invisalign trays are removable, which permits patients to practice ordinary oral hygiene; this is brushing and flossing. However, clear aligners can catch bacteria and require a patient’s attention to clean them.
Clear alignment trays latch on to teeth that inevitably have built-up food, debris, and bacteria that stick on the tray’s walls. Therefore, Orthodontists recommend patients clean Invisalign trays at night while brushing and flossing. Notwithstanding, you can also visually observe dirt and stains that require some immediate action cleaning when needed.
Furthermore, during meals, and if you don’t have the appropriate utensils to clean your aligners, we recommend rinsing them in lukewarm water before wearing them again. Just don’t use hot water, please.
In addition to more extensive cleaning measures, you should also rinse your aligners each time you take them off. However, rinsing your aligners after meals won’t replace proper cleaning measures as it doesn’t remove unseen bacteria that accumulate on the inner walls.
Therefore, we have listed some of the most relevant steps patients must consider to guarantee a beautiful and healthy smile during and after Invisalign treatment.
What Are the Best Tips for Cleaning Invisalign Aligners?
When talking about maintaining good oral hygiene, some of the most important questions are how to clean Invisalign? and how to clean Invisalign with Crystals?
How to Clean Invisalign?
Dealing with Invisalign retainers hygiene is less complicated than the detailed and sometimes annoying oral hygiene process when wearing conventional braces. Here we have some tips for cleaning your Invisalign trays:
- First, remove your aligners and rinse them with water every night.
- Next, use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush to gently and softly remove any particles or debris accumulated during the day.
- You can use a clear liquid soap as an auxiliary element to improve the mechanical removal of particles.
- Rinse your aligners thoroughly by moving them in all directions to let water flow in your aligners’ inner and outer portions.
- Carefully shake them to remove excess water and place them back in your mouth. If you are not using them immediately, store the appliances in the protective case provided by Invisalign.
Along with the cleaning measures detailed above, you can also acquire specialized products to clean your aligners. Invisalign auxiliary cleaning products will give you more peace of mind about aligners’ cleanliness. For example, Steraligner is an Invisalign brand product that leverages natural essential oil extracts to remove plaque and tartar from clear aligners.
You just pour Steraligner into a container provided by Invisalign and place your trays in it. You can typically brush your teeth while your aligners get sterilized, leave them for approximately three minutes, rinse them off, and your aligners will be ready to be used again.
Contributing to the aforementioned steps, an article published in Healthcare Magazine in 2022 systematically reviewed cleaning and disinfection protocols for clear orthodontic aligners, concluding that combining a mechanical and a chemical method seems to be the most effective approach to clean clear aligners. Following this piece of research, we include the use of crystals as an effective chemical cleaning method.
How to Clean Invisalign With Crystals?
Invisalign is a complete orthodontic system that comprises enhanced cleaning methods for better oral health during treatment. Cleaning Crystals are Invisalign’s more comprehensive cleaning mechanism that allows patients to have a more reliable solution for trays and dental hygiene.
To use crystals, you just have to pour water into an appropriate container and dissolve the crystals in it. After the crystals dissolve, insert your aligners into the water container. Crystals contain sodium sulfate that acts as a cleansing agent.