I am happy to endure a lot in pursuit of my Hollywood smile, but one thing that I’m not prepared to suffer is bad breath. I have begged my husband to tell me if he smells even the slightest whiff, but honestly, I think he is too kind to bring it up. My daughters, however, are another story and would gleefully revel in letting me know, so it’s them I am relying on as an early warning system. Nonetheless I’m absolutely pedantic about keeping my aligners clean and have scoured the internet for tips on cleaning Invisalign.
My orthodontist’s suggestions for cleaning Invisalign involved cleaning them with a soft toothbrush and water (but no toothpaste) and soaking them daily in a solution of 1/10 parts bleach and water. However, I am squeamish about chemicals, and more importantly I suffer from Crohn’s disease, so the last thing I would ever do is put something in my mouth that might trigger a flare up of my illness. Not only that, I think the bleachy smell alone is enough to put me off- I don’t want to give myself excuses not to wear them.
Consequently, I have developed my own little Invisalign cleaning system, and am happy to report that three weeks in, both sets of aligners have stayed crystal clear and odour free.
Firstly, and I think this is crucial, I don’t ever eat or drink anything except water whilst wearing my aligners. I am also absolutely fastidious about rinsing them under running water after I remove them from my mouth. Believe me, this is important -if you forget to do it by the time you come to reinsert them they are less than fragrant.
Secondly, before I put them back in I do the full brush, floss, rinse routine, almost without exception. The only times I haven’t been able to do this because I have forgotten my toothbrush I have at least flushed my mouth thoroughly with water before putting them back in, and then taken them out and brushed as soon as I get the chance. I do notice when I do this that they have a very slight smell- personally, I don’t think it is ideal, even though my ortho’s assistant says she does it all the time. As well as brushing and flossing my teeth I also give the aligners a quick going over with the toothbrush before I re-insert them. There’s nothing worse than not cleaning Invisalign before you put them in your mouth. I have read of people using pre-pasted disposable toothbrushes for when they are out and about. I haven’t tried them, but you can find them here.
Lastly, when I clean and floss for the last time at night I soak them in a denture bath (a small plastic tub) with water and a Polident tablet. This gives them a slight pinky tinge, which rinses off under running water, but definitely makes them seem fresher. I should point out that Invisalign expressly recommend against this, although it was suggested to me by my orthodontist’s assistant as the way she cleans hers.. I wouldn’t want to lead anyone astray…