Invisalign has become an extremely popular choice for those looking to straighten their teeth thanks to the aligners being removable and nearly invisible. However, to get the best results from your Invisalign treatment, proper aligner care is essential. One of the most common questions we get from Invisalign patients is how to properly store their aligners when they are not being worn.
At Lansdowne Family Dental, we recommend using an Invisalign aligner case any time you remove your aligners from your mouth to keep them protected, and clean, and avoid loss. Read on for our complete guide to storing your Invisalign aligners while eating, drinking, brushing your teeth and all other times they are not actively being worn.
Why Proper Invisalign Aligner Storage is Important?
Invisalign aligner storage is important for multiple reasons:
- Prevents Loss – The Invisalign case protects aligners when out of your mouth so they do not get accidentally thrown away or lost. Lost aligners mean delayed treatment.
- Avoids Damage – Without a case, aligners are vulnerable to cracking, chipping, or breaking if dropped.
- Keeps Aligners Clean – A case seals out debris, food particles, and bacteria accumulation. Aligners get gross without one!
When to Remove Your Invisalign Aligners
You can remove your Invisalign aligners when:
- Eating/Drinking – Except for cool water, always remove your Invisalign before consuming food and drinks. The aligners can harbor bacteria and food particles otherwise.
- Brushing Teeth – Take your aligners out any time you brush and floss to avoid toothpaste residue and to thoroughly clean your teeth and aligners.
- Sports/Fitness – Remove aligners for any sports, swimming, or high-intensity workouts where they could fall out and get lost or damaged.
Storing Invisalign When Out Your Mouth
Using the Invisalign case given to you by your dentist, follow these steps every time you take aligners out:
- Remove from mouth – Take aligners completely out by grasping from the back molars. Avoid tugging from the front which can displace attachments.
- Rinse (optional) – You can give a quick rinse with cool water if needed to remove debris before placing it in the case.
- Place in case – Aligners should snap securely into the Invisalign case. Click top shut.
- Store safely – Keep your covered aligners somewhere clean and secure like in a pocket or bag until ready to insert back into your mouth. Do not wrap in napkins!
Additional Invisalign Storage Tips
- Have multiple cases (home, work, travel) to always have one on hand
- Attach the case to your keys, purse, or backpack so it’s always available
- Store aligners in their current week’s tray to avoid mixing them up by accident
Cleaning Your Stored Aligners
Over time as you store your aligners, you may notice residue, odors, or discoloration. To keep them fresh and sanitary:
- Brush weekly – Use your Invisalign brush and toothpaste to gently scrub away debris
- Soak at least one time per day- Place aligners in an Invisalign cleaning crystal dissolving tablet and water solution for 15-20 minutes only. This disinfects without damage.
- Avoid other cleaning methods – No bleach, mouthwash, hot water, etc which can warp shape.
By properly storing your Invisalign aligners whenever they are not being worn, you will get faster treatment results and avoid common issues like lost, broken, or unhygienic aligners.