How to Clean Your Teeth Aligners With Ease.
Byte Licensed DDS
Table of Contents
- Cleaning Your Aligners
- Recommended Cleaning Agents
- Alternative Protection Methods
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!
Don't use these tools on your aligners.
Read magazine articles and entertainment blogs, and you might walk away believing that you need to invest in cleaning solutions for your aligners. While it's true that some experts recommend cleaning agents for aligners, these tools aren't always necessary. And some can harm your aligners in nasty ways.
Steer clear of tools such as: *Toothbrushes. Toothbrush and toothpaste can cause little scratches over time that trap bacteria within the aligner. *Toothpaste. Since they are made to clean the hard, tough, enamel surface of your teeth, most toothpastes are much too abrasive for polymers used in aligners. *Soap. Detergents can leave an awful taste in your mouth, and they're not made for digestion. *Denture crystals. These fizzy powders can damage and cloud up your clear trays. *Mouthwash. Dyes in these liquids can stain your aligners. *Hot water. High temperatures can bend your trays, and that means they won't fit into your mouth and move your teeth effectively.
Some aligner companies send home tooth whitening products that slide into your aligners to help brighten your teeth. Anything a company sends along with your trays is safe to use. But anything else could harm your investment in your smile.
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
Floss At Least Once A Day
Use Dental Rinse
Cut Back On Sugar In Your Diet
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.