Invisalign has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional metal braces for those looking to straighten their teeth. The clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible, removable, and more comfortable than braces. However, caring for Invisalign aligners is important to prevent damage and keep your treatment on track. One common question is: can you use toothpaste on Invisalign?
Should You Use Toothpaste on Invisalign Aligners?
When it comes to keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, you should not use regular toothpaste. Here’s why:
- Toothpaste is abrasive: The gritty particles in toothpaste are meant to remove plaque and stains from your natural teeth. However, these abrasives can scratch and cloud the smooth surface of your Invisalign trays over time, rendering them less effective.
- Toothpaste contains chemicals: Ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate found in toothpaste produce suds and bubbles. However, these bubbles get trapped inside Invisalign tray grooves and can leave behind chemical residue.
- Toothpaste can discolor aligners: Common toothpastes contain blue, green, or red dye. The longer the colored toothpaste sits on your aligners, the more likely it is to stain them.
So while keeping your aligners clean is vital, using toothpaste is too harsh and not recommended by Invisalign dentists.
Best Practices for Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
Instead of toothpaste, follow these methods to properly clean your Invisalign trays:
- Brush after each meal: Use your Invisalign cleaning brush and lukewarm water to gently scrub away food debris after eating.
- Soak in solution: Submerge aligners in Invisalign cleaning crystals or denture tablets to dissolve residue and bacteria every day.
- Rinse under water: Give your aligners a thorough final rinse before reinserting them in your mouth.
Here is a helpful table outlining the recommended cleaning routine for Invisalign wearers:
|Brush with lukewarm water
|Morning & Evening
|Soak in Invisalign cleaning crystals
|Rinse under water
This simple, toothpaste-free system helps keep aligners fresh, prevents odors and stains, and contains no harsh ingredients to damage the plastic.
Correct Toothpaste Usage With Invisalign
When it comes to your natural teeth, you should continue brushing twice daily alongside your Invisalign care. However, be cautious when using toothpaste to avoid transferring it to your aligners:
- Brush and rinse your teeth before inserting new aligners after cleaning.
- Avoid getting toothpaste inside the trays. Thoroughly rinse your mouth after brushing before putting your aligners back in.
- Use a residue-free toothpaste if possible. Options like Sensodyne Pronamel are less likely to leave leftover paste.
With some adjustments to your oral hygiene routine, you can safely use toothpaste to care for your teeth while keeping aligners clean.
Other Items to Avoid With Invisalign
In addition to conventional toothpaste, here are some other products that can potentially damage Invisalign trays:
- Whitening toothpaste
- Oil-pulling products
- Tartar control toothpaste
- Abrasive dental floss
- Strong mouthwash
- Tobacco products
- Hard, crunchy foods
Be mindful of anything highly acidic, gritty, or dyed that may come in contact with your aligners during wear.
Ask Your Invisalign Dentist
While basic toothpaste is fine for your natural teeth, refrain from using it directly on clear aligners. For advice tailored to your specific treatment plan and aligner type, consult your providing Invisalign dentist. They can recommend proper cleaning methods and products to keep your unique trays clear and effective throughout wear.