How To Clean Invisalign Trays – Everything You Need To Know About Aligner Care

If you’re getting Invisalign in Portland from Dr. Richard Zeller, you may be wondering how to care for your new trays. How can you keep your trays clean and clear, and keep your teeth healthy during treatment? Get all the details you need in this blog from Five Pines Dental.

What To Use To Clean Your Trays 

Cleaning your Invisalign trays isn’t too difficult, and doesn't require a lot of special gear. Here’s what you’ll need to clean your trays:

  • A separate toothbrush – When brushing your aligners, you should use a separate toothbrush with the softest possible bristles. This ensures you won’t damage your aligners when brushing them.

  • Unscented soap – Some people choose to clean their aligners with water alone, but you can also use antibacterial soap. Make sure to choose unscented, clean-rinsing antibacterial soap if you choose to do this.

  • Toothpaste – You can use toothpaste to clean your aligners, but you should avoid whitening toothpaste, or toothpaste with baking soda or other abrasives. These won’t physically damage your aligners, but they can scuff them, making them look cloudy and more obvious when worn.

  • Invisalign crystals – These are special crystals that you mix with water to soak your aligners every night. Denture cleaners are a good alternative if you can’t find Invisalign crystals at the store. You can also order them online.

Step-By-Step Daily Instructions For Daily Aligner Care

Here’s a quick overview of how to care for your teeth and aligners each day.

  1. Morning – You can brush your teeth right when you wake up, or after breakfast. Either way, remove your aligners and brush them with cold water. You can also use antibacterial soap or toothpaste to clean them, if you want.
  1. Lunch/afternoon – Once you eat lunch, take your aligners out and rinse them. You should also brush your teeth, if possible. If that’s not possible, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash before you put your aligners back in. If you eat anything else after lunch, you should rinse and brush again.
  1. Night – After you eat dinner or your final meal of the day, take your aligners out and brush your teeth. Soak your aligners in Invisalign crystals or denture cleaner for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse them off and put them back into your mouth.

Dos And Don’ts For Invisalign Care

Along with daily cleaning, you’ll want to make sure you follow a few basic “dos” and “don’ts” for Invisalign care:


  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes.

  • Floss once per day.

  • Store your aligners in the case whenever you’re not wearing them.

  • Rinse your aligners and brush your teeth whenever you eat or drink (except water).

  • Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day.


  • Use hot water to clean your aligners. Really hot water, even from the tap, can warp or damage your heat-sensitive aligners.

  • Eat or drink anything besides water while wearing your aligners.

  • Leave the trays lying out. Put them in the case if you’re not wearing them.

  • Use colored or scented soap to clean your trays. This avoids discoloration and potentially unpleasant tastes.

  • Smoke or use any kind of oral tobacco, since this is horrible for your oral health and may discolor your aligners.

Why Is It Important To Keep Invisalign Trays Clean?

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean helps control the growth of bacteria. This means your aligners will stay clean and clear, so they won’t be noticeable when you wear them. They also won’t smell or taste nasty, which is a real possibility if they're dirty and filled with bacteria. 

This also helps prevent things like gum disease and cavities, which are caused by the buildup of oral bacteria. Keeping your teeth and your trays clean reduces your risk of these common oral health problems.

Interested In Invisalign In Portland? Come To Five Pines Dental Today!

At Five Pines Dental, Dr. Richard Zeller specializes in Invisalign treatment. If you’re interested in a straighter, healthier smile, help is just a call or a click away. Call us now at (503) 482-2160 or contact us online to schedule your orthodontic consultation. Dr. Zeller can help you learn more about Invisalign in Portland, and determine if it’s right for you.

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