How to Clean Clear Aligners at Home

Your clear aligners will start out clear - but it’s up to you to keep them that way. Here’s what you need to know to keep your aligners in brilliant shape.
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One of the many reasons people choose clear aligners is because clear aligners are …… clear!

Clear aligners are intended to be completely transparent and virtually undetectable when they’re in place. However, it’s up to you to keep them that way by cleaning them regularly.

As long as you dedicate time to clean your clear aligners throughout the day and deep clean them regularly, your treatment should remain invisible.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to clean Invisalign
  • Best way to clean Invisalign
  • How to clean Invisalign with vinegar

Let’s dive into everything you need to know to keep your clear aligners in brilliant shape:

How to Clean Clear Aligners

To remove your clear aligners before cleaning them, gently loosen the clear aligner by using a clean pointer finger to hook the edge of the clear aligner toward the back inner surface of your teeth. Gently pull the clear aligner downward (or upward on your bottom clear aligner) and loosen both sides to ease it off carefully.

Clean Your Aligners Daily

We advise that you clean your clear aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste every time you brush your teeth (2 to 3 times a day). This prevents food particles and debris from sticking to your clear aligners and growing bacteria.

To keep your clear aligners free of plaque and bacteria, clean your aligners as soon as you take them out of your mouth. It’s easiest to remove plaque from a clear aligner while it’s still soft. Hardened plaque can be difficult to remove!

Gently brush your clear aligner with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive, non-whitening toothpaste or mild soap and lukewarm water after every meal. You want to keep your clear aligner as fresh as possible throughout the day and night.

Soak Your Aligners Regularly

It’s essential that you soak your aligners regularly to keep them in their best shape and to prevent plaque build-up. Soak your retainer in lukewarm soapy water for 20 minutes, or you can use a retainer cleaning solution, like Retainer Brite. The soaking process eliminates odors, calcium and mineral deposits that may be stored in your aligners.

How to prevent clear aligners or Invisalign from turning yellow

Cleaning your clear aligners daily will help prevent them from turning yellow. It’s also important that you don’t eat food or drink any beverages (other than water) with your clear aligners in place. Drinking coffee, sodas, juice, or any other colored or acidic beverages with clear aligners in your mouth will quickly discolor your aligners.

If your aligners are turning yellow, baking soda is a safe, effective method for restoring cleanliness! Baking soda has natural whitening properties, making it the perfect solution to counteract yellowing and renew clear aligner invisibility.

To create a baking soda cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and ½ cup of water in a small container. Mix the solution until you form a paste, and soak your aligners for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how discolored they are.

Rinse your aligners with lukewarm water, and gently brush them using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Voila! Your aligners should be clear again.

How to clean Invisalign, or clear aligners, with vinegar

This cleaning technique is a classic, and it works wonders. Vinegar has gentle disinfectant properties that can eliminate odors and bacteria on your aligners.

How to clean aligners using a vinegar solution:

  1. In a small container, mix white vinegar and lukewarm water (1:3 ratio).
  2. Leave your aligners in the solution for 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse them with cold water.

Now your aligners have been cleaned without the use of harsh chemicals!

Still have questions about cleaning clear aligners?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re proud to be a top dentist in Homewood, IL, providing clear aligners for all ages. Our highly-experienced dentist, Dr. Alex Shore, is known for going above and beyond to meet our patients’ needs.

If you haven’t begun your smile journey yet, request a free virtual exam for you or your child today.

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Homewood, IL 60430-2208


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