south perth logo
South Perth Dental Surgery

The Guide to Invisalign Cleaning Tips: Dos and Don’ts for a Healthy Smile

Invisalign has revolutionised the world of orthodontic treatments, offering a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces. However, a common challenge faced by many Invisalign wearers is maintaining the cleanliness and clarity of their aligner trays. Food particles, plaque buildup, and even the natural bacteria from our mouths can cloud the aligners, leading to odours and potentially tooth decay. The right cleaning methods are crucial to keeping both the aligners and your teeth in pristine condition.

This comprehensive guide talks about the dos and don’ts of Invisalign cleaning, discussing topics from daily routines, cleaning solutions, and even cleaning tips for when you’re travelling with an Invisalign. We’ll also touch upon the significance of professional care and support and how to manage your aligners during travels. Understanding these cleaning methods and incorporating them into a regular cleaning routine maximises not just the longevity of your aligners but also the health of your natural teeth. With the insights provided in this blog, readers will be equipped with the knowledge they need to maintain a healthy and straight smile throughout their Invisalign journey.

  • Proper cleaning methods are crucial to maintaining the cleanliness and clarity of Invisalign aligner trays.
  • Dos: Use lukewarm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush, non-abrasive toothpaste, a cleaning solution, cleaning crystals, and maintain a regular cleaning routine. Also, ensure proper storage in a cleaning container.
  • Don’ts: Avoid hot water, abrasive toothpaste, mouthwash soaks, traditional braces cleaning methods, exposing aligners to extreme temperatures, using full-strength cleaning agents, scrubbing vigorously, and leaving aligners exposed.
  • Suggested cleaning products: Use Invisalign cleaning crystals, a soft-bristled brush, non-abrasive toothpaste, a cleaning tub or container, a hydrogen peroxide and water solution, and denture cleaning tablets.
  • Daily cleaning routine: Rinse aligners with lukewarm water, brush teeth and aligners gently, soak aligners in a cleaning solution, avoid certain foods, and rinse aligners before wearing them.
  • Cleaning tips for travellers: Carry a portable cleaning kit, use clean water sources, pack travel-sized cleaning products, take out aligners when eating out, maintain a nightly routine, and store aligners in an airtight container.
  • Professional dental care complements daily cleaning, offering specialised cleaning methods, guidance on cleaning routines, and insights into food risks.
  • Meticulous cleaning maximises aligner longevity, prevents plaque buildup, and maintains dental health for a successful Invisalign journey.
South Perth Dental Surgery

Introduction to Invisalign Cleaning

Maintaining a radiant smile while using Invisalign aligners requires dedication to proper care. One cannot stress enough the significance of a consistent deep cleaning routine for these plastic trays. The accumulation of food particles, buildup of bacteria-filled plaque, and potential tooth decay can be averted with the right Invisalign cleaning tips. Oral hygiene with Invisalign is paramount, and using the correct aligner cleaning products can make all the difference. As we tackle the details of oral hygiene routine and Invisalign maintenance, here are some dos and don’ts to consider:


  • Always use lukewarm to warm water for cleaning.
  • Employ a soft-bristle toothbrush for gentle scrubbing.
  • Make use of cleaning crystals or denture cleaners for a thorough cleanse.
  • Soak aligners in a cleaning solution to keep them fresh.
  • Ensure regular cleaning to prevent plaque and food debris accumulation.
  • Store aligners in a clean container when not in use.


  • Avoid hot water as it can warp the plastic trays.
  • Refrain from using abrasive brushes like stiff brush bristles; a soft toothbrush or infant brush is preferable to keep your Invisalign trays clean.
  • Stay away from acidic foods and drinks that can stain or damage the Invisalign aligner.
  • Do not use toothpastes in cleaning your aligners as they can be abrasive.
  • Do not leave the aligners exposed; always store them in a cleaning tub or container.
  • Sidestep using anything other than the recommended mix of cleaning solution.

The Essential Dos of Invisalign Cleaning

  1. Regular Cleaning:
    It’s crucial to establish a consistent cleaning routine for your aligners. This not only keeps your aligners fresh but also maintains the health of your teeth and gums and prevent dental issues.
  2. Lukewarm Water:
    Always use lukewarm water when rinsing your Invisalign aligner. Hot water can distort the plastic trays, affecting their fit on your teeth.
  3. Soft-Bristled Toothbrush:
    Utilise a soft-bristled toothbrush, or even a baby toothbrush, to gently scrub the Invisalign aligner. This helps in removing food particles and plaque without scratching the surface.
  4. Non-Abrasive Toothpaste:
    While toothpaste is a common cleaning agent, ensure you’re using a non-abrasive type. Some kinds of toothpaste can be too harsh and may leave scratches on the aligners.
  5. Cleaning Solution:
    A mix of 3-parts lukewarm water to 1-part cleaning solution is ideal. Soak your aligners in this mixture to help manage the stubborn plaque and bacteria.
  6. Cleaning Crystals:
    These are specially designed aligner cleaning products. Cleaning crystals are extensive cleaning measures that can effectively remove buildup from aligner trays, ensuring they remain clear and odour-free.
  7. Avoid Certain Foods:
    While wearing aligners, it’s recommended to avoid sticky, chewy, and acidic foods. These can stain or damage the aligners and affect oral hygiene with Invisalign.
  8. Separate Toothbrush:
    It’s a good practice to have a separate toothbrush dedicated solely to cleaning your aligners. This will help keep no remnants of toothpaste or food debris from your regular toothbrush transfer to the aligners.
  9. Storage:
    When not in use, especially during meals, store your aligners in a cleaning container or cleaning tub. This protects them from bacteria and potential damage.
  10. Address Buildup:
    Over time, there might be a buildup from aligner trays. Using aligner cleaning products, like cleaning crystals, can effectively address this and keep your aligners clean.
  11. Avoid Traditional Braces Cleaning Methods:
    Invisalign aligners are not traditional metal braces. Hence, there is a difference between cleaning and maintaining theInvisalign aligner and the traditional braces. Always follow Invisalign cleaning tips specific to these plastic trays.
  12. Rinse After Eating:
    Before placing your aligners back after a meal, ensure you rinse them thoroughly. This prevents food debris and plaque from getting trapped between the aligners and teeth.
South Perth Dental Surgery

The Critical Don'ts of Invisalign Cleaning

  1. Do not use hot water:
    Never use hot water to rinse or soak your aligners. Hot water can warp the plastic trays, affecting their fit and the effectiveness of your treatment.
  2. Steer clear of abrasive aoothpaste:
    Some kinds of toothpaste contain abrasive ingredients that can scratch the surface of your aligners. Always opt for a non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent damage.
  3. No mouthwash soaks:
    Avoid soaking your aligners in mouthwash products. Many mouthwashes contain dyes that can tint your aligners, making them less discreet.
  4. Avoid exposing to extreme temperatures:
    Whether it’s very cold or hot, extreme temperatures can distort the shape of your aligners. Always store them in a cleaning container at room temperature.
  5. No medium or hard toothbrush:
    A regular toothbrush can be too harsh for your aligners. Instead, use a soft-bristled or baby toothbrush for cleaning.
  6. Avoid acidic foods and drinks:
    Acidic foods and drinks can stain your aligners. If you consume these, ensure you clean your teeth thoroughly before wearing your aligners.
  7. Steer Clear of Coloured Cleaning Solutions:
    Some cleaning solutions can tint your aligners. Always opt for clear cleaning solutions or those specifically designed for Invisalign maintenance.
  8. No DIY Cleaning Methods:
    While there are many cleaning methods available online, not all are suitable for Invisalign aligners. Stick to recommended cleaning methods and products to maximise the longevity and effectiveness of your aligners.
  9. Avoid Leaving Aligners Exposed:
    When not in use, don’t leave your aligners out in the open. This exposes them to bacteria and potential damage. Always store them in a cleaning tub or container.
  10. Avoid Using Full-Strength Cleaning Agents:
    Some cleaning agents, like Hydrogen Peroxide, should be diluted before use. Using them at full strength can damage the aligners.
  11. Avoid Scrubbing Vigorously:
    While it’s essential to keep your aligners clean, scrubbing them too hard can cause scratches. Gentle cleaning is the key.

Suggested Products for Invisalign Cleaning

  1. Invisalign Cleaning Crystals:
    • Description:
      These are among the many aligner cleaning products specifically designed for Invisalign maintenance. They effectively address buildup from aligner trays and guarantee a deep clean.
    • How to use:
      Mix the cleaning crystals in a cup of lukewarm water. Submerge the aligner trays fully in the solution for about 20 minutes. After soaking, use a soft toothbrush to brush away any residues. Rinse the aligners with clean water before wearing them.
  2. Soft-Bristled Brush:
    • Description:
      A soft-bristled toothbrush is gentle on the aligners, ensuring they remain scratch-free while effectively removing food particles and plaque.
    • How to use:
      Gently brush the aligners with a non-abrasive cleaning product, mainly focusing on areas with visible buildup. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  3. Cleaning Tub or Container:
    • Description:
      A dedicated container is essential for the soaking process, ensuring the aligners are fully submerged and protected from external contaminants.
    • How to use:
      Fill the container with your chosen cleaning solution, whether it’s a mix of cleaning crystals and water or another recommended solution. Place the aligners inside for the specified duration.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide and Water Solution:
    • Description:
      This mix is beneficial for disinfecting the aligners and maintaining their clarity.
    • How to use:
      Prepare a solution with equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm water. Soak the aligners for about 30 minutes. Ensure a thorough rinse with clean water before wearing.
  5. Denture Cleaning Tablets:
    • Description:
      An alternative to Invisalign cleaning crystals, these tablets are effective in removing bacteria and stains.
    • How to use:
      Dissolve a tablet in a cup of lukewarm water. Place the aligners in the cleaning tub and soak them for the duration specified in the product’s instructions. Rinse with clean water afterwards.

Daily Routine for Invisalign Maintenance

Time of DayStepMethods of Cleaning
Morning1Begin by removing your aligners from your mouth.
 2Rinse the aligners with lukewarm water to wash away any overnight bacteria buildup.
 3Brush your teeth in circular motions, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, ensuring little to no food debris and plaque remain.
 4Use a separate soft-bristled toothbrush with mild soap to gently brush the aligners, focusing on areas with visible plaque buildup. Avoid using abrasive materials to prevent damage to your aligners.
 5Soak the aligners in a cleaning solution or crystals for a deeper clean if needed.
 6Before placing the aligners back, ensure they are rinsed with clean water.
 7Throughout the day, take out your aligners when consuming foods, especially sticky food or acidic ones.
Evening1For nightly cleaning, remove and clean the aligners with gentle soap before placing them in a cleaning tub.
 2Rinse the aligners with lukewarm tap water.
 3Brush and floss your teeth, paying attention to areas with potential plaque build-up.
 4For a thorough cleaning routine, consider using aligner cleaning products to ensure the aligners are free from bacteria.
 5Soak the aligners in a cleaning solution.
 6After soaking, use a soft toothbrush to brush away any residues, especially from the trays.
 7Rinse the aligners with cold water before wearing them for the night, ensuring they fit well and are free of any food debris.

Invisalign Cleaning for Travelers

Travelling can be a thrilling experience, but for those undergoing Invisalign treatment, proper maintenance and a consistent cleaning routine on the go is crucial. Here are some Invisalign cleaning tips tailored for travellers:

  1. Portable Cleaning Kit:
    Always carry a compact cleaning kit that includes a soft-bristled toothbrush, non-abrasive cleaner, and a small cleaning tub. This helps you maintain your oral hygiene with Invisalign, even in transit.
  2. Water Sources:
    While it’s tempting to rinse aligners with any available water, especially when in a new place, always use clean water. If unsure about the water quality, opt for bottled water or lukewarm water from a trusted source.
  3. Aligner Cleaning Products:
    Travel-sized aligner cleaning products are a boon. Consider packing cleaning crystals or other easy-to-carry and effective cleaning solutions to keep your aligners clean.
  4. Eating Out:
    Remember to take out your aligners when sampling local foods, especially sticky or acidic ones. After eating, ensure no food particles remain on your teeth before placing the aligners back.
  5. Nightly Routine:
    Even after a tiring day of exploration, don’t skip your cleaning routine. Soak the aligners in a mixture of 3-parts lukewarm water and cleaning solution. Afterwards, brush them gently with a separate toothbrush to avoid any buildup from aligner trays.
  6. Storage:
    Always store your aligners in their cleaning container when not in use. This protects them from bacteria and potential damage.
  7. Backup Aligners:
    It’s wise to carry your previous trays or plastic aligner trays as a backup. In case of any mishaps, you won’t disrupt your Invisalign maintenance schedule.
  8. Avoid Hot Water:
    Never use hot water to rinse or soak your aligners. High temperatures can warp the plastic trays, affecting their fit.
  9. Limit Sugary and Acidic Intake:
    While it’s tempting to try various foods when travelling, be mindful of sugary and acidic foods. They can increase the risk of tooth decay and plaque and bacteria buildup if teeth aren’t cleaned promptly.
  10. Regular Check:
    Even when moving from one place to another, wear your aligners 22 hours per day and regularly check your teeth and aligners for signs of plaque or food debris. A quick rinse or brush can reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Professional Care and Support for Invisalign

For individuals with Invisalign, the importance of professional dental care in complementing their daily cleaning routine is a critical factor to the success of treatment. Regular visits to the dental clinic provide access to specialised cleaning methods that address the buildup from aligner trays, ensuring the aligners remain fresh and free from bacteria. Dental professionals utilise specific cleaning solutions, including cleaning crystals, to offer a deep clean that might be challenging to achieve at home. They can also guide patients on the correct cleaning routine, emphasising the use of lukewarm water over hot water and the benefits of a soft-bristled toothbrush to maintain the integrity of the aligners.

Moreover, while daily cleaning focuses on removing food particles and plaque buildup and ensuring the cleanliness of both teeth and aligners, professional care offers a more comprehensive approach. Dental professionals can provide insights into effective cleaning methods, from the use of a cleaning tub or container to the advantages of soaking trays in a cleaning solution. They can also advise on the potential risks of certain foods, especially sticky or acidic ones, and the importance of thorough cleaning after consumption. This professional guidance will help the patients maintain optimal oral hygiene with Invisalign, preventing issues like tooth decay and ensuring the treatment’s success.

Final Thoughts

From understanding the intricacies of daily maintenance to the significance of professional care, it’s clear that keeping your aligners clean and in optimal condition is paramount. The benefits of a meticulous cleaning routine, both at home and with professional guidance, not only prolong the lifespan of your aligners but also maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

While personal efforts play a crucial role, the knowledge and guidance of dental professionals cannot be understated. They provide the necessary support, advanced cleaning methods, and insights that are pivotal for the success of your Invisalign journey. Their knowledge will guide you so that you’re not just wearing aligners but are also maintaining good oral hygiene.

If you’re considering Invisalign to address your crooked teeth and other dental issues or seeking further guidance on its maintenance, South Perth Dental Surgery is here to assist you. Our dedicated team is committed to providing you with comprehensive care and support tailored to your needs. Let us be your partner in achieving that radiant smile you’ve always desired.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Dental Appointment

South Perth Dental Surgery has been providing high-quality dental care to families for over 30 years. Our team of experienced dentists offer extensive world-class services and stays current with the latest dental technology so we can help keep your smile looking great.
Make an appointment with us today and see what we have to offer!