How to Properly Clean Invisalign Aligner Trays
To clean and freshen your aligners, you could use regular toothpaste. This will get them smelling nice and fresh. However, when you do use toothpaste, keep in mind that they may scratch. Some toothpastes can be abrasive (especially the whitening ones). If you don't mind your trays getting potentially scratched, you could use this very easy method of cleaning your aligners.
The best toothpaste to use is a sensitive formula toothpaste. There are less abrasives (if any at all) that can potentially scratch your aligners. This is the safest route to take should you want a quick way to clean your aligner trays.
Retainer Brite is a great way to clean your aligners. You soak them in the liquid for no more than 15-minutes. The aligners will come out fresh and clean! Not to mention, if you had some yellowing or staining, Retainer Brite will get the aligners nice and clear again. This product is made specifically for clear retainers/Invisalign products.
Believe it or not, you can use denture cleaner to clean your aligner trays. The fizzing liquid will clean and freshen your trays. Just one word of caution, however. Many of these denture cleaner products contain "per-sulfates" as one of the ingredients. This has been known to cause an allergic reaction in persons sensitive to this chemical. These denture cleaners will get your trays fresh and clean, however, it depends on how discolored your trays are. These denture cleaners do not remove staining and discoloration on the clear trays.
Plain 'ole Water
Yes, you can clean your aligners with just plain water. You may not be getting out all of the odor or the bacteria from them, but this helps better than nothing at all. Just rinse the aligners under cool running water and use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub them. Again, not the best method, but it'll work in a pinch!
To get out germs and the nasty smell, you can opt to use an antibacterial liquid soap. The soap should be clear. If you don't use clear soap, there could be a potential of discoloring the clear trays. Antibacterial soap is a affordable solution to cleaning and disinfecting your trays. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the aligners with water before putting it back into your mouth.
EverSmile has a unique product in which it combines a retainer cleaner and teeth whitener in one product. You just spray some foam into the trays and the product will whiten teeth while you wear it. The active ingredient that whitens your teeth is peroxide. This is great for people who want to have a dual purpose product!
Water & Vinegar
A very easy solution is water mixed with vinegar. You mix vinegar and water half and half in a 50/50 mixture. This solution will kill bacteria and germs and get your tray cleaned. Before placing the trays back in your mouth, you'll want to rinse off the trays completely.
Official Invisalign Cleaner
You could order the official Invisalign Cleaner from the Invisalign store (online) or your Orthodontist/Dentist could get this for you. The official cleaner is similar to a denture cleaner. A note of caution, however, the official Invisalign cleaner is very expensive.
Clear Liquid Mouthwash
A last alternative is clear liquid mouthwash. Keep in mind, the mouthwash, again, has to be clear in color. If it's not clear, it will stain the trays. Soak the aligners in the mouthwash for about 5-minutes. This will get them smelling nice and fresh.
Keep them clean!
Remember to always at least rinse out your aligners with water at the very minimum. It is important to always keep them clean. If they're not clean, they'll be eventually discoloring from wear. And when they do discolor, they can turn yellow or a cloudy and milky color. When they do turn that color, your Invisalign no longer becomes "invisible."