How to Clean Your Teeth Aligners With Ease.

Medically Reviewed by a
Byte Licensed DDS

Table of Contents

  1. Cleaning Your Aligners
  2. Recommended Cleaning Agents
  3. Alternative Protection Methods
  4. References

Cleaning your aligners isn't just smart. It's recommended by almost every oral health expert out there.

Your mouth is home to a whopping 700 species of microbes. Some help to improve your health. But others secrete plaque that can harm your teeth and cloud up your aligners.

Cleaning is crucial, but you'll need to follow guidelines carefully. Clean the devices with the wrong tools or in the wrong way, and you could cause more harm than good.

Clean your aligners in a few easy steps.

You don’t need fancy tools to clean your aligners. First and foremost, it’s key to rinse your aligners under cool (not hot!) water when you take them out. This prevents residue build up, and cloudy or discolored aligners. If you have a bottle of our BrightByte™ whitener/aligner cleaner, it’s the best way to keep the aligners clean and fresh on the go. Simply squirt a dime-sized amount in your aligners, top and bottom, each time you replace them. Aligners should be worn only after brushing teeth whenever possible -- BrightByte does not replace basic oral hygiene. The next-best way to clean your aligners would be to mix 50% vinegar and 50% water, and to allow the aligners to soak in the solution for about 20-30 minutes. Then rinse them off, before wearing them again. Using anything else on the aligners, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, can cause little scratches over time that trap bacteria within the aligner. We want to make sure the aligners remain as clean as possible throughout your treatment, so keeping a solution like this on-hand in case you’re out of BrightByte is perfect!

3 more ways to protect your teeth.

Wearing aligners is a proven way to improve your oral health. In fact, researchers found that after wearing aligners for six months, people tended to brush more often, and they had less plaque on their teeth.

To protect your teeth:

Brush Every Day
A proper tooth brushing session should last for two minutes, says the American Dental Association. Every morning and every night, all of your teeth should get a proper brushing with toothpaste. Give your teeth a very quick brush during the day, each time you clean your aligners.
Floss At Least Once A Day
Flossing is very important to clean in between the teeth where it’s difficult for a toothbrush to reach.
Use Dental Rinse
Mouthwashes can reduce the size of bacterial colonies in your mouth, and that could lead to lower levels of gingivitis and gum disease.
Cut Back On Sugar In Your Diet
Bacteria thrive on sugary soda and sweet snacks. Look for ways to limit your intake of these products.
Your dentist can help you learn more about how to protect your teeth and keep your smile as stunning as it can possibly be.


Mouth Microbes: The Helpful and the Harmful. (May 2019). National Institutes of Health.

What You Need to Clean Your Retainer, According to Experts. (May 2019). The New York Times Magazine.

The Dynamics of the Oral Microbiome and Oral Health Among Patients Receiving Clear Aligner Orthodontic Treatment. (August 2019). Oral Diseases.

Brushing Your Teeth. American Dental Association.

The True Story of Why You Get Cavities, According to a Billion Microbes. (March 2017). University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.

Frequently Asked Questions. Byte.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.