West Perth Dental Centre

Invisalign Maintenance 101: Keeping Your Aligners Clean and Clear

Invisalign aligners have revolutionised how individuals manage teeth alignment problems, offering a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces. However, maintaining the clarity and cleanliness of these aligners is paramount to their effectiveness. This is where Invisalign cleaning tips come into play. By following a proper Invisalign care routine, wearers can secure that their aligners remain clear, clean, and functional throughout the entire treatment process.

Whether new to Invisalign or looking to enhance your existing Invisalign care routine, this guide will offer valuable insights and practical Invisalign cleaning tips. From daily maintenance to long-term care, the following sections will cover everything you need to know about Invisalign cleaning tips to keep your aligners clean and clear, allowing you to continue your journey towards a beautiful and confident smile.

Summary of the Content

  • Proper Invisalign maintenance is crucial for effective treatment and optimal results.

  • Aligners should be stored in their designated case when not in use to keep them safe and hygienic. Keeping the aligner storage case clean and dry is important to prevent the buildup of bacteria.

  • Aligners should be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than plain water to prevent food particles and beverages from getting trapped and potentially causing damage or bacterial buildup.

  • A good oral hygiene routine should be followed during treatment, such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing. This helps keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your Invisalign treatment.

  • Avoid using hot water or coloured soaps when cleaning your aligners and their storage case, as these can cause damage or discolouration.

  • There are several misconceptions about Invisalign maintenance and cleaning that can lead to improper care and potential issues during treatment. Debunking these misconceptions can help you achieve a more successful Invisalign treatment.

The Importance of Invisalign Maintenance

The journey to achieving straighter teeth with Invisalign is exciting. However, it’s important to understand that maintaining your Invisalign aligners is also a crucial part of straightening crooked teeth. Here are some reasons why it is important to maintain your Invisalign aligners:

  • Oral Hygiene:
    Unkept aligners can trap food particles and bacteria against your teeth, potentially leading to cavities, gum inflammation, and bad breath. By maintaining clean aligners, you help ensure the health of your teeth and gums throughout your treatment.

  • Preventing Stains and Odours:
    If you don’t clean your aligners regularly, they can become discoloured, stained, or develop an unpleasant odour. Cleaning your aligners prevents these issues and keeps them looking and smelling fresh.

  • Comfort:
    Clean aligners are more comfortable to wear. The buildup of bacteria or debris on your aligners can cause discomfort and irritation to your gums, tongue, and other oral tissues.

  • Alignment Accuracy:
    Dirty aligners might not fit as snugly or provide the necessary pressure for effective tooth movement. Clean aligners ensure proper alignment and movement, leading to better treatment outcomes.

  • Bacterial Growth:
    Bacteria can thrive in the warm, moist environment of your mouth and on aligners. Without proper cleaning, bacterial growth on your aligners could lead to oral infections and other health issues.

  • Aesthetics:
    Transparent aligners are designed to be discreet. If they become discoloured or stained, they might become more visible when you wear them, defeating the purpose of their nearly invisible appearance.

  • Durability:
    Regular cleaning helps prolong the lifespan of your aligners. Clean aligners are less likely to become damaged or warped, reducing the need for replacements and potential disruptions in your treatment plan.

  • Overall Health:
    Good oral hygiene is closely linked to your overall health. Neglecting oral hygiene during Invisalign treatment could contribute to oral health problems that might impact your general well-being.

Invisalign Care Routine: Do's and Don'ts

When maintaining your Invisalign aligners, following a proper care routine is essential for keeping them clean and effective throughout your treatment. To help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of Invisalign care, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid and aligner care tips to keep them in optimal condition.


  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush:
    Gently brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove plaque and bacteria. Avoid using a toothbrush with hard bristles, as it can scratch the aligner’s surface.

  • Clean your aligners regularly:
    Rinse them with lukewarm water before and after wearing them. For more thorough cleaning, you can use a non-abrasive, gentle soap or an aligner cleaner recommended by your dentist.

  • Use gentle cleaning products:
    Avoid using hot water, which can warp the aligners, or coloured and scented soaps, as they may leave stains. Opt for gentle, unscented antibacterial soaps or cleaning products designed for aligners.

  • Brush and floss your teeth before wearing aligners:
    Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is crucial for the overall health of your teeth and gums. Brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in your mouth to prevent bacteria buildup.


  • Don’t use abrasive toothpaste or mouthwash:
    Avoid using it on your aligners, as they can scratch the surface. Instead, use non-abrasive toothpaste and mild, alcohol-free mouthwash for your oral hygiene routine.

  • Don’t soak aligners in coloured or scented products:
    Coloured or scented products may stain or leave residue on your aligners. Use clear, non-coloured cleaning compounds to keep your aligners clean and odour-free.

  • Don’t clean aligners with hot water:
    Hot water can distort your aligners, affecting their fit and effectiveness. Use lukewarm water for rinsing and cleaning your aligners.

  • Don’t store aligners in a moist or dirty case:
    Clean and dry your aligner case before storing your aligners. Moisture and dirt can promote growth of bacteria, causing unpleasant odours and potential oral health issues.

Tips for Storing Your Invisalign Aligners

Proper Invisalign aligner storage is crucial to maintain their cleanliness and integrity when they’re not in use. By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your aligners in top condition throughout your treatment.

  • Use the designated storage case:
    Always store your aligners in the case provided by your dentist. These cases are specifically designed to keep your aligners safe and protected from damage or loss.

  • Keep the case clean:
    Regularly clean your aligner case to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odours. Rinse it with warm water and mild antibacterial soap, gently brushing away any residue. Avoid using coloured soaps or scented products, which may leave stains or unpleasant flavours.

  • Keep the case dry:
    Before placing your aligners in the case, dry it completely. Moisture can promote bacterial growth and lead to unpleasant odours. Consider carrying a spare case if the primary one needs to air dry.

  • Avoid leaving aligners exposed:
    When they are not in your mouth or their case, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as this can cause them to be brittle.

  • Keep the case with you:
    Always carry your aligner case to prevent accidental loss or damage. This way, you’ll have a safe and secure place to store your aligners while you eat or drink.

Eating and Drinking with Invisalign: What You Need to Know

Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable and can be taken out during meals. Here’s what you need to know about eating and drinking during Invisalign treatment and why it’s recommended to take out your aligners:

  • To prevent food debris accumulation and staining:
    Taking out your aligners before eating helps prevent food particles from getting trapped between your aligners and teeth. This reduces the risk of tooth decay, and bad breath. Additionally, taking out your aligners lets you enjoy your favourite foods and beverages without worrying about staining them. Coffee, tea, red wine, and strongly coloured foods can discolour your invisible aligners while wearing them.

  • To maintain proper hygiene:
    Brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly after eating helps empty any food particles or debris that may have accumulated. It also confirms that your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy throughout the treatment process.

  • To avoid damage to aligners:
    Chewing on hard or sticky foods while wearing aligners can damage them. Aligners are designed to be durable, but excessive pressure or force can lead to cracks or distortion of these plastic trays. Taking out your aligners before eating minimises the risk of damaging them and prolongs their lifespan.

  • To enjoy more freedom in your diet:
    Invisalign offers a significant advantage in terms of dietary freedom. Unlike traditional braces with dietary restrictions, Invisalign allows you to eat a wide range of foods. By taking out your aligners during meals, you can enjoy all your favourite foods and maintain a balanced diet without any restrictions.

Dealing with Discomfort: Tips for New Invisalign Users

If you’re a new Invisalign user, you may experience initial discomfort as your teeth adapt to the aligners. This discomfort is usually temporary and normally subsides within a few days. To help you navigate this period and have a smooth transition into your Invisalign treatment, here are some tips:

  • Embrace a gradual transition:
    Ease into wearing your aligners by starting with shorter wear times and gradually increasing them as your mouth adjusts. This allows your teeth and gums to become more accustomed to the aligners.

  • Use over-the-counter pain relief:
    If you experience any soreness or discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief. Follow the instructions and consult with your healthcare professional if needed.

  • Stick to your aligner schedule:
    Consistency is key. Wear your aligners for the recommended time which is 20-22 hours per day. This will allow your treatment to progress as planned and minimise potential delays.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene:
    Regular brushing of your teeth and rinsing your mouth after meals contribute to keeping your aligners and teeth clean. Proper oral hygiene prevents tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

  • Keep scheduled checkups:
    Regular checkups with your dentist are essential for monitoring your progress and addressing any concerns or discomfort. These appointments allow your dentist to make necessary adjustments and check that your treatment remains on track.

Invisalign and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to Invisalign treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene practices is crucial for the success of your journey. Proper oral hygiene maintenance not only supports the effectiveness of your aligners but also promotes overall dental health. To help you navigate oral hygiene while undergoing Invisalign treatment, here are useful oral hygiene tips:

  • Brushing:
    • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
    • Pay extra attention to brushing along the gumline and between the teeth to remove plaque and food particles.

  • Flossing:
    • Flossing is essential for cleaning areas that brushing alone cannot reach.
    • Incorporate daily flossing into your oral care routine so that you remove plaque buildup between teeth.
    • Consider using flossing tools like interdental brushes or water flossers for added convenience.

  • Rinsing:
    • Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
    • Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent dry mouth and irritation.

  • Cleaning aligner trays:
    • Rinse your aligners with water before and after wearing them to eliminate saliva or debris.
    • Consider using aligner cleaning products your dentist recommends to keep your aligners clean and odour-free.

The Role of Regular Checkups in Invisalign Maintenance

By having regular visits to your dentist for checkups, you actively contribute to the overall maintenance and success of your Invisalign treatment. These scheduled appointments are not to be overlooked, as they are essential for the effectiveness of your treatment. Here are the key reasons why regular checkups are crucial:

  • Monitoring progress:
    During your checkups, your dentist will assess the progress of your Invisalign treatment. They will evaluate how your teeth are shifting, make any necessary adjustments, and confirm that the treatment is progressing as planned. These assessments are critical for achieving the desired results within the expected timeframe.

  • Making necessary adjustments:
    Sometimes, adjustments are needed to refine your treatment plan and address any challenges or concerns that may arise. Regular checkups allow your dentist to make these adjustments, such as adding aligners or placement of Invisalign attachments.

  • Addressing discomfort or issues:
    Invisalign treatment may occasionally come with discomfort or minor issues. Regular checkups allow your dentist to address any discomfort you may experience and provide options to alleviate it. They can also identify and manage problems or concerns that may arise so that your treatment remains comfortable and effective.

  • Maintaining oral health:
    In addition to monitoring your treatment progress, regular checkups also focus on your overall oral health. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums during these appointments. This helps prevent and address potential dental issues during your Invisalign treatment, such as tooth decay or gum disease. By maintaining good oral health, you support the success of your Invisalign treatment and promote long-term oral well-being.

Common Misconceptions About Invisalign Maintenance

Invisalign maintenance is a critical aspect of ensuring the success and effectiveness of your treatment. However, common misconceptions surrounding Invisalign maintenance can lead to confusion or misinformation. Let’s address these misconceptions and debunk them.

  • Misconception: You can clean your aligners with toothpaste.
    Reality: Toothpaste can be abrasive and scratch the aligners’ surface, making them more visible and less effective. It’s better to use a clear, mild antibacterial soap, non-abrasive toothpaste, or the specialized cleaning crystals provided by Invisalign.

  • Misconception: Hot water must be used in cleaning aligners.
    Reality: Using hot water to clean aligners can distort their shape and compromise their effectiveness. It’s recommended to use lukewarm water for rinsing and cleaning.

  • Misconception: Aligners don’t need to be cleaned when removed for eating.
    Reality: Even if you remove your aligners to eat, it’s important to clean them before putting them back in your mouth. Harmful bacteria can still accumulate on the aligners and transfer to your natural teeth when you reinsert them.

  • Misconception: Cleaning aligners with mouthwash is sufficient.
    Reality: Mouthwash can contain dyes and chemicals that may discolour or damage the aligners. While using mouthwash might have oral health benefits, it’s not a replacement for proper cleaning methods.

  • Misconception: Soaking aligners in mouthwash or using denture tablets is the best cleaning method.
    Reality: Soaking aligners in mouthwash or cleaning aligners with denture tablets can potentially damage the aligners or cause them to become discoloured. Use the cleaning methods recommended by your dentist or the Invisalign manufacturer.

  • Misconception: Aligners can be cleaned with any soap.
    Reality: While using a mild, clear antibacterial soap is recommended, cleaning aligners with liquid hand soap or other household soaps might not be appropriate for cleaning aligners, as they can leave residues or contain additives that are not safe for oral use.

  • Misconception: Ultrasonic cleaners are safe and effective for aligners.
    Reality: Some ultrasonic cleaners can be too harsh and potentially damage the aligners. If you’re considering using an ultrasonic cleaner, consult your dentist first.

  • Misconception: Aligners don’t need to be cleaned if you don’t wear them for a short period.
    Reality: Even if you’re not wearing your aligners for a short time, it’s still important to keep them clean. Bacteria can multiply quickly, and dirty aligners can contribute to oral health issues when you resume wearing them.

It’s important to follow the cleaning and care instructions provided by your Invisalign-trained dentist. If you have any doubts or questions about proper maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for guidance. Proper cleaning practices will ensure that your Invisalign treatment progresses smoothly and yields successful results.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign maintenance is a crucial part of securing the success and effectiveness of your treatment. Remember, your commitment to maintaining your aligners and following your dentist’s instructions is vital for the success of your Invisalign treatment. By taking proper care of your aligners, practising good oral hygiene, and staying in regular contact with your dentist, you can enjoy a smoother and more satisfying journey towards achieving your desired smile transformation.

Ready to achieve a straight smile with Invisalign? At West Perth Dental, we are here to guide dental patients through their Invisalign journey and provide comprehensive care. Our team of experienced dentists will provide you with the personalised attention and support you need for successful Invisalign treatment. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment and learn more about proper Invisalign maintenance techniques, including keeping your custom aligners clean and clear. Don’t wait – take the first step towards a straighter and dazzling smile with Invisalign at West Perth Dental. Call us now!

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

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