To keep your teeth and gums healthy, it is crucial to practice proper oral hygiene, especially if you are using using Invisalign aligners. Invisalign is a state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment that can help to correct misalignment of the teeth and jaws, and improve your smile. Over the years, they have grown to be a popular alternative to traditional metal or ceramic braces because they are nearly invisible and are removable for eating and cleaning.
However, a common question posed by patients undergoing Invisalign treatment is whether it is safe to use mouthwash while wearing it. The answer is NO, you should not use a mouthwash with your Invisalign on.
Most mouthwash contains alcohol and other ingredients that can potentially discolor or damage the Invisalign aligners. This may affect the effectiveness of the aligners and in worst case scenario, render it useless. As such, you are recommended to always remove your Invisalign aligners when you are using a mouthwash.
If you want to freshen your breath while wearing Invisalign, it is best to brush your teeth and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to help kill bacteria and prevent cavities. You can also consider rinsing your mouth with water or a water and salt mixture to help freshen your breath.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand of clear, removable aligners that have grown to become a popular alternative to the traditional metal braces for orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign aligners are made of a medical-grade, transparent plastic called SmartTrack. The material is engineered to deliver a gentle and constant force to the teeth to move it to the desired position. The use of the SmartTrack meant that Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible when worn, making them a popular choice among working adults who want to straighten their teeth without the noticeable appearance of the traditional metal braces.
A typical Invisalign treatment involves the wearing of a series of aligners, with each aligner being worn for approximately two weeks before being replaced with the next one in the series. Each set of aligners apply a gentle gentle, continuous pressure to the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position. Treatment with Invisalign typically takes about 12 to 18 months, depending on the complexity of the case and the individual’s treatment plan.
Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign aligners are typically more expensive than traditional metal braces due to the cost involved in producing the multiple aligners required and the technology involved. However, they offer the benefits of being more comfortable to wear and less noticeable to others. They are also removable, which means that patients can take them out to eat, brush their teeth, and floss, and they do not require the same level of maintenance as traditional braces.
It is important to note that while Invisalign aligners look similar to retainers, they are not the same. Aligners are designed to nudge the teeth to its desired place through the use of a gentle force over an extended period. In contrast, retainers are worn to prevent the teeth from moving away from the desired location.
Can You Soak Invisalign in Mouthwash?
Similar to using mouthwash with Invisalign in your mouth, you should not soak your Invisalign in mouthwash. While most mouthwash contain anti-bacterial properties that can kill bacteria that may be present in your Invisalign aligners, soaking it in mouthwash for an extended period of time may do more harm than good as it will stain the aligners.
Furthermore, mouthwash is not designed to be used as a soaking solution for Invisalign aligners. Mouthwash is intended to be used as a rinse to help freshen your breath and kill bacteria in your mouth, but it may not be suitable for soaking your aligners due to the ingredients it contains.
Instead, soak your Invisalign retainers in Invisalign Cleaning Crystals solution, Polident or a hydrogen peroxide solution. The Invisalign cleaning solutions are designed to kill bacteria and remove plaque that may be present in your Invisalign. Furthermore, they are made with substances that prevent any discoloration or staining of the aligners. If you are looking to use hydrogen peroxide, mix in equal part of water and hydrogen peroxide. For all three alternative solutions mentioned, soak your Invisalign aligners for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing them and brushing it with a soft toothbrush.
Can You Clean Invisalign With Toothpaste?
It is recommended not to clean your Invisalign aligners with toothpaste. This is due to the abrasive materials that make up the toothpaste. As such, cleaning your Invisalign with toothpaste can scratch and damage the the Invisalign trays. Furthermore, the microabrasions caused by the scratch help harbor bacteria, causing the cloudy, milky appearance commonly seen in poorly maintained retainers.
Instead, it is recommended to clean Invisalign aligners with a mild dish soap and lukewarm water. You can also use a specific Invisalign cleaning solution or a denture cleaner to clean your aligners. If you are looking to clean your Invisalign aligners with toothpaste, opt for a less abrasive or non-abrasive toothpaste to minimize potential damage done to your Invisalign.
Best Mouthwash for Invisalign users
It is important for people who are wearing Invisalign aligners to practice good oral hygiene, including using mouthwash. When choosing a mouthwash, it is important to select a product that is compatible with your Invisalign aligners. Here are a few tips to consider when selecting a mouthwash for use with Invisalign aligners:
- Look for a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can cause the aligners to become dry and brittle, which can lead to cracks or breaks.
- Select a mouthwash that has a more neutral pH. Aligners are made from a soft plastic material that can be damaged by highly acidic or basic substances.
- Opt for a mouthwash that contains a higher concentration of flouride. Flouride is a mineral that strengths the tooth enamel and helps to prevent the formation of cavities.
- Consider using a mouthwash that is formulated for use with Invisalign aligners. These products are designed to be compatible with the aligners and can help to keep your mouth clean and fresh while you are wearing them.
As such, we recommend the following mouthwash for users who are using Invisalign and braces:
- Colgate Ortho Defense Phos Flur Anti Cavity Fluoride Rinse. This mouthwash is formulated for people undergoing orthodontic treatment, and it passes our requirements: alcohol-free, and includes fluoride. In particular, Ortho Defense mouthwash is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
- ACT Anticavity Flouride Mouthwash. ACT mouthwash contains 0.05% sodium flouride and is alcohol free. It is designed to strengthen the teeth, prevent cavities, and freshen the breath. Similarly, it has also been approved by ADA.
- Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash Alcohol Free Multi-Protection Fresh Mint. This mouthwash has been specially formulated to kill germs that cause bad breath and prevent cavities from forming. This mouthwash also contains flouride and is alcohol free.