How to remove stains from Invisalign trays


For those who have to use Invisalign trays, these are clear retainers that serve as a guide for aligning the teeth. Getting the perfect smile is not as simple as it seems. When using the Invisalign trays, it requires proper care and maintenance to achieve the best results as well as avoid any costly replacement. Read further to learn ways on how to remove stains from Invisalign trays. 

Cleaning stained Invisalign trays

When you want to get stains out of Invisalign trays you first need there are four great ways to remove stains. A water and hydrogen peroxide solution works great. Soap and water might be enough. Baking soda for stubborn debris and particles. Add vinegar and water for hardcore stains.

Techniques on how to remove stains from Invisalign trays

When your Invisalign trays have white or yellow stains, there are several techniques that you can use. Let us take a look at the techniques on how to remove stains from Invisalign trays.

Water and hydrogen peroxide solution

  • Prepare a solution with a 1:1 mix of water and hydrogen peroxide. 
  • When you take out your retainers to eat, soak them in this solution for up to 30 minutes. 
  • Once you are done eating, gently scrub the trays with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse thoroughly with water before putting it back in. 

Soap and water

  • Carefully brush or clean the trays using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild soap.
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash the trays before putting them back in.

Baking soda

Use baking soda for stubborn debris and particles. It works as a mild abrasive that can break up dried plaque and food particles off your retainers. 

  • Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. 
  • Gently scrub the paste onto the retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Baking soda, vinegar, and water solution

For heavily-stained Invisalign trays, you can use this solution. 

  • Prepare a solution of 1:1 vinegar and lukewarm water. Soak the Invisalign trays into the solution. Let it soak for up to 30 minutes and gently scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly before putting them back.
  • You can clean the retainers with baking soda after the soaking. Scrub gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse after. 

When cleaning your Invisalign trays, only use a designated toothbrush. In all these cleaning techniques, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid any scratches on the trays. Make sure that you will keep this toothbrush separate from the one you are using to brush your teeth. 

What causes clear retainers to turn yellow?

If you have clear retainers, you might be surprised that over time, your retainers start to turn yellow. 

Foods and beverages are the main cause of staining the clear aligners and retainers. Remember that anything that can stain your teeth can linger in your retainers as well. Some of the usual culprits include dark-colored beverages such as tea and soda. As for food, curry is the usual cause of the stains. 

You should remove your trays or retainers when eating. This will avoid trapping any acids or sugars that are positioned close to your teeth. Aside from causing stains on your trays, it can also cause the formation of cavities. 

What is the whitish buildup on clear retainers?

The minerals present in saliva can cause retainers to turn yellowish or white over time. In case the Invisalign trays are not thoroughly cleaned, the bacteria will start to flourish. Dirty retainers can cause the buildup of plaque and tartar quickly. As a result, a solidified, white material or whitish spots can build-up on the trays. 

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How do you whiten Invisalign trays?

Aside from the regular cleaning of your Invisalign trays, you might want to deep clean now and then, especially to keep it clean or even whiten it. This can be achieved by soaking the aligners in a variety of homemade or store-bought solutions. Let us take a look at some of the recommendations to achieve the best results. 

  • Discoloration. Soak the Invisalign trays in diluted bleach water at least two times a week. Prepare the solution by mixing a tablespoon of bleach in a cup of cold water. Soak the trays into the solution for around 30 minutes each time. Brush the Invisalign trays and rinse thoroughly after this bi-weekly cleaning.
  • Using a whitening mouth wash. You can immerse your Invisalign trays in a mouth wash solution as long as the liquid is clear. Avoid using the green or purple variants since these can stain the trays. Perform this at least twice a week, around 15-20 minutes each time. 
  • Using denture cleaners. Soak the Invisalign trays in the denture cleaner for up to 15 minutes and brush any residue using a toothbrush. Monitor that your trays do not get too cloudy.

Can I clean Invisalign with toothpaste?

When taking care of an Invisalign retainer, it is a simple task. It is best to make it a habit to clean your retainer every time you brush your teeth. Proper care of your Invisalign requires a toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a denture or retainer cleaner. 

  • Wash the Invisalign retainer using lukewarm water.
  • Smear toothpaste on a toothbrush with soft bristles. With small, circular gestures, carefully brush your retainer, both within and outside. 
  • After brushing the retainer completely, rinse thoroughly under lukewarm water. 
  • Carefully check the retainer for any tartar or calcium buildup. Remember that the retainers are inclined to the accumulation of tartar just like your teeth. The buildup manifests as a white, cloud-like coating on the retainer that is difficult to get rid with a toothbrush.
  • If there is an evident buildup of calcium, immerse the retainer in a denture or retainer cleansing product. 
  • After washing your Invisalign retainer, you can put it into your mouth or in a container to dry. 

Can I put whitening gel in my Invisalign trays?

The Invisalign is specially designed to align your teeth which simply means that it provides a very tight fit when used. Although the trays fit your teeth accurately, they have limited space for the bleaching gel to prevent overflowing in your mouth. 

Once you apply a teeth whitening gel to your Invisalign, it will drive most, if not all of the gel out of the tray and into your mouth. This will simply waste the gel and trigger irritation of the tissues in your mouth. With this in mind, it is not advisable to use Invisalign as a teeth bleaching tray.

How often do you clean Invisalign trays?

It is a great idea to soak your Invisalign at least ones per day. You can soak them for half an hour while you eat. Soak them in a Water and hydrogen peroxide solution. Afterward, brush them with a toothbrush. For hardcore stains, other solutions might work better.

Final thoughts

If you are using Invisalign trays or retainers, it is vital to ensure that they are regularly and thoroughly cleaned to prevent the formation of stains or end up with whitish build-up. With the techniques discussed on how to remove stains from Invisalign trays, you can keep them clean and stain-free.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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