How to Clean Invisalign: Tips for a Bright, Clear Smile

How to Clean Invisalign

Invisalign aligners, the modern marvel of orthodontics, have transformed the way we approach teeth straightening, offering a virtually invisible method that’s both effective and aesthetically pleasing.

However, their clarity can be compromised if not maintained properly. Beyond aesthetics, cleanliness is paramount for oral health, preventing bacterial buildup and potential infections.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the meticulous steps and best practices to ensure your Invisalign aligners remain pristine, ensuring a radiant, clear smile throughout your orthodontic journey.

Daily Rinse Routine

Every time you take out your Invisalign aligners, a rinse should be your immediate next step. This might seem trivial, but it’s a game-changer. Throughout the day, saliva and plaque naturally accumulate on the aligners.

If left unchecked, this can lead to a filmy residue, causing the aligners to lose their transparency. Moreover, this residue can become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to potential oral health issues.

By adopting a consistent rinsing routine, and using cool water, you can effectively combat this buildup, ensuring your aligners remain as clear and hygienic as when you first received them.

Use Lukewarm Water

Use Lukewarm Water

When you want to clean Invisalign the best way, the temperature of the water you use is more critical than you might think. Always opt for lukewarm water. Why? Invisalign aligners are crafted from a special thermoplastic material.

Exposing them to extreme temperatures, especially hot water, can cause them to warp or deform. This not only affects their clarity but can also compromise their fit, reducing their effectiveness in aligning your teeth.

Lukewarm water strikes the right balance, being gentle on the aligners while effectively aiding in the cleaning process. It’s a simple yet crucial step in maintaining the integrity of your aligners.

Avoid Hot Water

Doubling down on the temperature aspect, it’s vital to emphasize the dangers of using hot water. While it might seem like a good idea, thinking it would offer a deeper clean, hot water can be detrimental.

The thermoplastic material of Invisalign aligners is sensitive to heat. Immersing them in hot water can cause them to lose their shape, rendering them ineffective. Moreover, warped aligners can cause discomfort, rubbing against the gums and not fitting snugly against the teeth.

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your aligners, always steer clear of hot water during the cleaning process.

Gentle Brushing

Gentle Brushing

Brushing your aligners is an effective way to remove debris and bacteria. However, the keyword here is “gentle.” Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush with light, circular motions.

Avoid scrubbing vigorously as this can scratch the aligners, making them cloudy and less transparent. Remember, the goal is to remove unwanted particles without causing damage.

It’s also advisable to have a separate toothbrush dedicated solely to cleaning your aligners. This ensures that you’re not transferring any toothpaste residue or food particles from your teeth to the aligners.

Soak in Denture Cleaner

For a deeper, more thorough clean, consider soaking your aligners in a denture cleaner. These cleaners are designed to sanitize and remove stubborn stains and bacteria.

Fill a bowl with lukewarm water, drop in a denture cleaning tablet, and let your aligners soak as per the cleaner’s instructions.

This method not only ensures a sparkling clean set of aligners but also helps in maintaining their clarity. After soaking, give them a quick rinse under cool running water before popping them back in.

Avoid Toothpaste

Tubes with toothpaste on light blue background, flat lay. Space for text

It might seem intuitive to use toothpaste when cleaning something that stays in your mouth. However, when it comes to Invisalign aligners, toothpaste is a no-go. Many toothpastes are abrasive and can leave micro-scratches on the aligner’s surface.

Over time, these scratches can accumulate, leading to a cloudy appearance. Instead, opt for a clear, anti-bacterial soap. It’s gentle, effective, and won’t leave any residue that can affect the aligner’s clarity.

Proper Storage

When you’re not wearing your aligners, proper storage is crucial. Always use the protective case provided by your orthodontist. This not only keeps them safe from potential damage but also prevents bacterial buildup.

It’s easy to get complacent, especially during meals, and just wrap them in a napkin or leave them on the table.

However, this exposes them to germs and increases the risk of them getting lost or accidentally thrown away. A dedicated case ensures they remain clean and safe.

Avoid Staining Foods

Avoid Staining Foods

Just like with traditional braces, there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid to maintain the clarity of your Invisalign aligners.

Beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and sodas can stain the aligners, making them less transparent.

Similarly, foods with strong colorants, like curries or berries, can leave a tint. If you do indulge, consider removing your aligners during consumption and giving them a thorough clean before wearing them again.

Cleaning Before Bed

Nighttime cleaning is non-negotiable. Before bed, ensure your aligners are free from the day’s accumulation of bacteria, saliva, and food particles.

A thorough rinse, followed by gentle brushing and an optional soak, can ensure you go to bed with a clean set. This not only promotes oral health but also ensures you wake up with a clear, bright smile.

Regular Checkups

Regular Checkups

Your journey with Invisalign is a collaborative effort, where you and your orthodontist work hand-in-hand toward achieving your dream smile. Regular checkups with your orthodontist are not just recommended, but they’re crucial for the success of the treatment.

During these visits, they meticulously assess the fit of your aligners, ensuring they’re working as intended. If any discrepancies are found, they can make the necessary adjustments to realign your treatment plan. Additionally, these sessions are a golden opportunity to receive professional cleaning tips tailored to your needs.

Beyond the immediate concerns, your orthodontist’s trained eye can spot potential issues or complications early on, addressing them proactively. This proactive approach ensures that your journey to a radiant, perfect smile remains smooth and on track.


Invisalign aligners offer a revolutionary way to achieve a perfect smile discreetly. However, their effectiveness is closely tied to their maintenance.

By adopting the cleaning practices outlined above, you ensure your aligners remain clean, hygienic, and effective.

Remember, a clean aligner not only guarantees a beautiful smile but also promotes overall oral health. Embrace these tips, and let your smile shine bright!