How to Maintain a Healthy Mouth During Invisalign® Treatment

Dentist holding Invisalign in Nashville

June 5, 2024

Written by:
Hillsboro Village Dental Team

Undergoing Invisalign® treatment is an exciting experience toward a straighter, healthier smile. However, maintaining good oral hygiene during this period is crucial to ensure your aligners remain effective and your mouth stays healthy.  

Many patients worry about how to clean their aligners and keep their teeth in top condition while using Invisalign. If you're considering Invisalign in Nashville, you'll want to know the best practices for keeping everything clean and clear.  

This guide provides practical tips for maintaining excellent oral hygiene throughout your Invisalign treatment.

Dentist handling Invisalign in Nashville

The Importance of Oral Hygiene with Invisalign

Cleaning Your Aligners Daily

Keeping your aligners clean is essential to prevent bacteria buildup and ensure they remain invisible. Rinse them with lukewarm water every morning and evening. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the plastic.

Brushing Your Teeth After Every Meal

Because you need to remove your aligners to eat, it's important to brush your teeth before putting them back in. This helps remove food particles and plaque, preventing cavities and bad breath.

Flossing Daily

Flossing becomes even more critical during Invisalign treatment. It removes debris between your teeth that brushing might cause you to miss. Make it a habit to floss at least once a day.  

Using an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria and keep your breath fresh. This extra step can help reduce the risk of gum disease and other oral health issues.

Soaking Your Aligners

Soak your aligners in a cleaning solution designed for retainers or Invisalign. Do this once a day to keep them fresh and free from bacteria. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.  

Avoiding Staining Foods and Drinks  

Certain foods and beverages can stain your aligners and teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, and colored sodas should be consumed with caution. Always brush your teeth after consuming these items.

Regular Dental Checkups

Continue to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Professional cleanings are essential to remove tartar and detect any issues early.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food particles and bacteria. It also prevents dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and decay.

Monitoring Your Progress

Take photos or note changes to track your Invisalign progress. This can help you stay motivated and follow your treatment plan correctly.

Handling Emergencies

Know what to do in case of an Invisalign emergency, such as a lost or broken aligner. Contact your dentist immediately to get a replacement and keep your treatment on track.

Dental hygienist brushing her teeth in Nashville

Cleaning Techniques for Invisalign Aligners  

Rinse with Water

Rinse your aligners under lukewarm water every time you remove them. This simple step helps remove saliva and food particles that can lead to bacteria buildup.

Brush Gently

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your aligners gently. Avoid using toothpaste, which can be abrasive and cause scratches, making your aligners more visible.

Use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

Invisalign offers cleaning crystals designed specifically for aligners. To keep your aligners clear and fresh, soak them in the crystal solution according to the instructions.

Use Homemade Cleaning Solutions

You can also soak your aligners in equal parts water, vinegar, or baking soda. These natural solutions help remove stains and bacteria without harsh chemicals.

Avoid Harmful Cleaners

Never use harsh chemicals like bleach or alcohol to clean your aligners. These substances can damage the plastic and reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.

Store Your Aligners Properly

When you're not wearing your aligners, store them in their protective case. This keeps them safe from damage and reduces the risk of losing them.

Clean Your Aligner Case

Remember to clean your aligner case regularly. Bacteria can accumulate in the case, so wash it with warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly before use.

Remove Aligners with Care

Take care when removing your aligners to avoid damaging them. Use both hands to ease them off your teeth gently. Avoid using sharp objects that could scratch or break them.

Address Bad Breath

It could be a sign of poor oral hygiene if you notice bad breath during your treatment. Make sure you're brushing, flossing, and rinsing properly. Also, consider using a breath freshener that's safe for Invisalign.

Deal with Stains

Soaking your aligners in a cleaning solution or using Invisalign cleaning crystals can help if your aligners get stained. To keep your aligners clear, avoid foods and drinks that cause staining.

Why Oral Hygiene Matters with Invisalign

Preventing Cavities

Good oral hygiene helps prevent cavities during your Invisalign treatment. Brushing and flossing regularly removes plaque, the leading cause of tooth decay.

Avoiding Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that can affect your Invisalign treatment. Keeping your teeth and gums clean helps prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.

Maintaining Fresh Breath

Nobody likes bad breath. Proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and mouthwash, keeps your breath fresh and pleasant.

Enhancing Treatment Effectiveness

Clean aligners fit better and work more effectively. Maintaining good hygiene ensures that your Invisalign treatment proceeds smoothly and delivers the best results.

Boosting Confidence

Knowing that your mouth is clean and your breath is fresh boosts your confidence. You'll feel more comfortable smiling and speaking, which is important during your Invisalign experience.

Reducing Discomfort

Poor oral hygiene can lead to discomfort and irritation. Keeping your mouth and aligners clean reduces the risk of sores and other issues.

Promoting Overall Health

Oral health is linked to overall health. Maintaining good hygiene during your Invisalign treatment can positively impact your general well-being.

Encouraging Consistency

When you commit to a good oral hygiene routine, it becomes easier to stick with your Invisalign treatment plan. Consistency is key to achieving the desired results.

Setting a Good Example

Your commitment to oral hygiene sets a positive example if you have children or family members who might need orthodontic treatment. They’ll see the importance of taking care of their teeth.

Enjoying the Process

Invisalign treatment is a process toward a beautiful smile. You can enjoy this process and look forward to the fantastic results by taking care of your oral hygiene.

Dentist talking to her patient about Invisalign in Nashville

Ready to Start Your Invisalign Experience?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for a successful Invisalign treatment. If you're considering Invisalign, our team at Hillsboro Village Dental is here to help you every step of the way.  

We are committed to your oral health and happiness, from providing expert advice on keeping your aligners clean to ensuring your treatment progresses smoothly. Contact us today to make an appointment.

* Invisalign®, the Invisalign logo, and iTero®, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.