woman holding an invisalign retainer

How Do You Clean Invisalign Retainers?


After completing your Invisalign treatment, you’ll need to wear your Invisalign retainer as prescribed by your dentist. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting back into their old position after completing alignment treatment. You’ll need to care for your Invisalign retainer virtually the same way you cared for your alignment trays. That means you should rinse your retainer in lukewarm (not hot) water, and use a soft-bristled brush to clean it at least twice a day. It’s generally easiest to clean it each time you brush your teeth.

Tips for Keeping Your Invisalign Retainer Clean and Safe

Always remember that it is important to brush your teeth after eating and before putting your retainer back in. Otherwise, food or debris leftover on your teeth will be trapped by your retainer, which can cause bacteria to flourish. 

If you develop a cloudy, white film on your retainer, don’t panic. This is likely calcium and tartar buildup. However, you’ll need to soak your retainer in water mixed with Invisalign cleaning crystals, or another cleaning solution recommended by your dentist. After soaking your retainer for approximately fifteen minutes, you’ll need to brush it gently and rinse it before putting it back in your mouth.

To keep your retainer clean, clear, and healthy, follow these additional tips:

  • When not wearing your retainer, keep it in a clean, safe place
  • Avoid drinking any beverages other than clear liquids while wearing your retainer
  • Avoid using toothpaste to clean your retainer, as it can scratch the plastic
  • Remove your retainer whenever you eat
  • Do not smoke or vape while wearing your retainer

How Invisalign Retainers Work

Your Invisalign retainer will play a crucial role in ensuring your teeth stay in their newly aligned position. This is known as retention. As such, you must wear your retainer exactly as your dentist recommends. This is because your teeth will naturally shift back into their old alignment, which is a process known as relapse. Invisalign retainers serve to safeguard against relapse, and keep your smile straight, even, and beautiful for years to come. 

How Long Will I Have to Wear an Invisalign Retainer?

Unfortunately, your teeth are prone to shifting even after completing treatment with Invisalign, or any other type of braces. So, most people will need to wear their retainer most of the time immediately following treatment. Over time your dentist may advise that you can begin wearing your retainer only at night. Eventually, you may only need to wear it several nights a week. 

It is important to remember that your teeth can continue to shift well into adulthood. So, it’s smart to continue to wear your retainer at least a few nights a week, forever. 

Learn More About Invisalign in Aliso Viejo

Invisalign offers teens and adults the opportunity to close gaps, fix bite issues, and align their teeth comfortably and discreetly. Invisalign offers the benefit of being able to eat whatever you want during your treatment. In addition, because Invisalign trays are removable, you can easily clean the entire surface of the teeth, and between the teeth without the need for special tools. Insurance companies typically offer the same coverage for Invisalign as they offer for traditional braces.  To learn more about Invisalign in Aliso Viejo, contact Aliso Smiles today by calling 949-916-7800. You may also request an appointment online.