How to Wash and Clean your Invisalign Dental Retainers / Trays
by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT
I have had a long, tortured history with my teeth. I got braces when I was a child but didn't use my retainer enough to keep them straight. My teeth became crooked again and I ended up smiling with a closed mouth through my teens and 20's. When I turned 30, I decided to try to fix my teeth again and asked my dentist if there was anything I could do. He suggested Invisalign and took molds of my teeth to send off to the company. We crossed our fingers, and it ended up that my teeth could be fixed! I had some of my teeth removed, others shaved and changed those trays every two weeks for about a thousand weeks, and ended up with straight, beautiful teeth. The same opportunity laid before me at 30-something that I had in my teenaged years - wear the retainer trays every night for the rest of my life to keep straight teeth. I was older and wiser, so I have done just that for the past few years.
This post is NOT sponsored by Invisalign, I am just sharing some tips I found useful to keep those trays clean.
1. Dish soap.
I wondered how to clean the aligners and keep them from staining when I was switching them every two weeks. I tried denture cleaners, but they never got them clean or white enough. I think it was my dentist that shared that cleaning them with dish soap and a toothbrush might help. It does! This is less of a problem now that I only wear them at night. When I was wearing them all day, I would have to brush after every meal and snack, and the retainers seemed to get scummy (I was drinking things I shouldn't have with the retainers in back in those days).
My dentist recommended Closys and I have been buying it ever since.
- It is a great mouthwash and overall germ killer.
- I was surprised when I saw that it is also recommended for cancer patients suffering from oral mucositis / mouth sores at a meeting of the Oncology Nursing Society.
- Closys is my secret weapon when I am camping and don't have access to a bathroom. I wake up and swish a capful first thing in the morning and it gets rid of my bad breath.
- I sanitize my Invisalign retainers with a capful of Closys to make sure there are no germs on them when I wear them at night.
3. Store the trays in a mouthguard case. I didn't one morning and found my dog munching on them like a chew toy. That was an expensive mistake!
One thing I have not found is an attractive mouthguard case. There are plenty of adults with Invisalign! Why do I have to keep my aligners in a case for a 1. tween or 2. lacrosse player?
If you have seen a classy aligner case, please leave the link in the comments.