Invisalign retainers are a desired orthodontic treatment because they are removable at any time and practically invisible even when they are in use. However, if Invisalign retainers are not maintained properly, they will begin to stain and darken, making them not only visible when worn but unattractive as well.
Long-term lack of care may even begin to break down the structure of the appliance and decrease its viability, making it worthless for retaining teeth in the position you worked so hard to attain.
So, how do you take care of Invisalign retainers both during treatment and after? Find out here.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Invisalign Retainers?
There are a number of different ways to clean Invisalign retainers and the one you choose will likely be based on what you prefer in terms of taste, accessibility of the products used to clean the item, and smell.
These are some options:
- Liquid dish soap and a toothbrush
- Non-abrasive toothpaste and a toothbrush
- A 30-minute soak in a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water
- An overnight soak in hydrogen peroxide and water
- Professional Invisalign cleaning system
- Over-the-counter retainer cleaning products
It’s a good idea to rinse your Invisalign retainer with warm water whenever you take it out, and use a soak cleaning method every so often to ensure there is no buildup of bacteria on your retainer. If you are using dish soap or toothpaste, a small amount is all you need, and a thorough rinse afterward is recommended.
Is There a Wrong Way to Clean an Invisalign Retainer?
Yes. Some dentists suggest avoiding toothpaste altogether because it may scratch the retainer and begin to break down its integrity. It is also important to always avoid exposing the retainer to hot or boiling water, as this can also begin to warp the shape of the retainer.
While home solutions are the most inexpensive option, it is important to avoid denture cleaners that may have harsh chemicals, mouthwash that may stain or tint the retainer, and alcohol or bleach that could damage the retainer.
Using the wrong products can cause the retainer to look scratched or worn. They can also stain it, warp it, or otherwise render it nonfunctional.
How Long Do Invisalign Retainers Last?
As long as they are taken care of properly, most Invisalign retainers will last at least six months and up to a few years. It is recommended to get them checked regularly and adjusted as needed to make sure they are still working as they should.
If you would like to learn more about Invisalign treatment with trays or Invisalign retainers, contact Dison Family Dentistry today to schedule your first appointment. We can also assess your current Invisalign retainer and replace it if needed.