How to Clean Your Aligners At Home
April 09, 2019
You’ve been wearing your aligners every day, all day – just as the orthodontist ordered – but you start to notice a bit of a funk. Your aligners are going to pick up bacteria and other nasty things by hanging out in your mouth all day and night. Just like you wouldn’t skip brushing and flossing for a day, you’ll need to clean your aligners on a regular basis.
Keeping aligners clean is super easy – definitely easier than flossing with braces. All you need is a cup, water, a cleaning agent that you probably already have at home, and a little time.
Mix a drop of gentle liquid soap into the cup of water until suds form. Soak your aligners for 20 – 30 minutes, then rinse well. Don’t forget that last step!
Combine one part white vinegar to three parts warm water and let your aligners soak for 20 minutes. Rinse in cool water.
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with half a cup of water and soak your aligners for an hour. Rinse well. Baking soda – what can’t it do?
Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Watch your aligners fizz in the cup for 30 minutes, then rinse well.
If you want to splurge on something special just for your aligners – retainer cleaner works wonders. Drop one tablet into a cup of water and submerge your aligners for 15 – 20 minutes, then rinse and they’re ready to wear.
With all these easy options to clean your aligners, there are just a few cleaning “don’ts.”
- Toothpaste. You’d think that what’s good for the teeth is good for the aligner, but
toothpaste contains abrasives that can scratch and damage aligners.
- Alcohol or bleach. Harsh chemicals can damage your aligners.
- Mouthwash. Mouthwash contains alcohol.
- Boiling water. You just need to clean your aligners, not sterilize them! Boiling water
will warp your aligners, making them uncomfortable and less effective.
Do brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day before putting your aligners in. This minimizes little bits of food and bacteria getting inside the aligners in the first place.
Do always take your aligners out to eat.
Do keep your aligners in their case when not wearing them. Leaving them out in the open is an opportunity for bacteria to build up and start getting smelly – or worse, make you sick.
Do soak your aligners every couple of days.
Following these simple steps will keep your mouth clean, fresh and healthy while you get your smile. Take care of your aligners and they’ll take care of you!