In the past 25 years, Invisalign has created 12.8 million beautiful smiles around the globe. Clear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. They’re easy to use, remove, and clean – or are they?

Clear aligners may be an effective tool, but some users struggle with regular Invisalign maintenance. Avoid these seven common Invisalign cleaning mistakes for a brighter, healthier smile!

1. No Eating or Drinking With Aligners

Ease of use is just one of the many reasons for getting clear aligners. Imagine eating or drinking whatever you want while straightening your teeth! No more broken brackets or food stuck between wires.

But a common mistake first-time users make is trying to eat while wearing their clear aligners. Other than water, you should remove your aligners before you consume anything. Chewing with aligners can damage them, and it’s pretty uncomfortable too!

Food and food dye can stain your clear aligners, making them look cloudy or yellow. Avoid this unpleasant look by ensuring your aligners never come into contact with food. Eating with aligners can also harm your oral health.

Food particles and bacteria can make their way inside your Invisalign. They can get stuck and lead to cavities, bad breath, and enamel damage. And make sure to brush and floss your teeth before putting aligners back after eating to avoid contamination!

2. Rinse After Removal

So, before you sit down to eat, you need to take off your aligners and pop them into their case, right? Wrong! Many people make this simple mistake and end up with dirty aligners.

The key is rinsing your Invisalign aligners every time you take them out and put them into their case. This method keeps them smelling and looking fresh! Not to mention keeping bacteria at bay.

An easy way to remind yourself not to skip this step is to remove them in front of a mirror. You’ll usually be near a sink if you’re doing this, giving you a visual reminder to rinse. Or try writing a little note on top of your case to rinse, rinse, rinse!

3. Skip the Toothpaste

Toothpaste for your teeth? Good. Toothpaste for your Invisalign? Very bad!

If you Google “how to clean aligners,” you might see people recommending toothpaste. But that’s not ideal for the health of your aligners. Toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients, which may be safe for teeth, but not for aligners.

Using toothpaste might give the aligners a strange taste and smell. It can also stain or discolor them. And the last thing you want in your mouth for 20 to 22 hours is a set of discolored aligners!

Adding to the list, avoid cleaning them with harsh soaps, mouthwash, and alcohol. And definitely do not throw them into the dishwasher! The super hot water can permanently damage your aligners.

4. Brush Up on Your Flossing Technique

Flossing is an essential part of your oral health routine. You’ve probably heard your dentist say that a million times, but do you take their advice? It turns out that 58% of people don’t!

That’s right, over half of us never floss our teeth. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque, prevent gingivitis, and prevent bad breath. With Invisalign, it’s also a crucial step for discouraging bacteria build-up inside your aligners.

If you pop your aligners in without flossing, tiny bits of food debris can contaminate the trays. The key is to find the right dentist to help you smooth out your technique! They can show you how to floss the right way and keep your Invisalign bacteria-free.

5. Use Invisalign Cleaning Tools

The Invisalign online store sells specialized cleaning products for your aligners. If you want to skip the hassle of mixing up soaking solutions, grab a few items from the official store. They offer cleaning spray for on-the-go and sterilizing solutions to keep things fresh at home!

6. Protect Your Aligners

Using your protective aligner case is the safest way to store your Invisalign when you don’t need it. It also happens to be an impossible habit to form when it comes to Invisalign for kids. But jamming the aligners into a backpack while running for the bus is a surefire way to damage them.

Help your children take better care of the aligners by teaching them the importance of using the case. You can also motivate them to remember by purchasing a custom or decorative aligner case. If they have something they love to look at, they’re more likely to use it!

7. Cleaning Invisalign Trays Is Essential

Finally, and maybe most importantly, you need to clean your Invisalign trays daily! Many first-time users make the dreaded mistake of never removing their aligners.

But offer your teeth a much-needed break! And use that time to give your trays a good, deep clean. Cleaning your Invisalign is as simple as giving it a quick soak once a day.

The most common solution for soaking is liquid soap and water. Squeeze a few drops of gentle soap into warm water and mix until you create bubbles. Drop your aligners in for 20 to 30 minutes, then use a soft-bristle brush to give them a gentle scrub.

You can also combine vinegar with water and soak for 20 minutes. For this method, mix one-part vinegar with three parts of tepid water, then rinse after soaking. You can also use one tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water if you really want a squeaky clean set of aligners.

Avoid Common Invisalign Cleaning Mistakes for Healthy Teeth

Your Invisalign aligners will remain in excellent shape if you take care of them. Keep these common Invisalign cleaning mistakes in mind as you go through your day. Do you have an issue with your clear aligners, or are you ready to finally get Invisalign?

Doyle Orthodontics is your trusted source for Invisalign in Nashville! Get in touch for a free consultation. We can’t wait to help you get the smile of your dreams.