How to Clean Clear Aligners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Your Aligners Fresh and Sanitary

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How to clean clear aligners


Clear aligners have become a popular alternative to traditional braces for straightening teeth. They offer many benefits, such as being nearly invisible and removable, making it easier to maintain oral hygiene during treatment. However, to get the best results from your clear aligners, it's important to keep them clean and sanitary. In this article, we'll go over the importance of cleaning your clear aligners and provide a step-by-step guide to help you keep them fresh and sanitary.

Why Cleaning Your Clear Aligners is Important:

Your mouth is full of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. When you wear clear aligners, food particles and bacteria can get trapped between your teeth and the aligners, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don't clean your aligners regularly, it can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Additionally, dirty aligners can discolor, stain, and become cloudy, making them less effective in straightening your teeth.

How to Clean Clear Aligners: A Step-by-Step Guide:

Cleaning your clear aligners is simple and straightforward. Follow these steps to keep them fresh and sanitary:

A. Rinse Your Aligners Every Time You Remove Them

The first step to cleaning your aligners is to rinse them thoroughly with cool water every time you take them out. This will help remove any saliva, bacteria, or food particles that may be trapped in your aligners.

B. Clean Your Aligners with a Soft Toothbrush

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, unscented liquid soap to gently clean your aligners. Be sure to brush both the inside and outside surfaces of your aligners. Avoid using toothpaste as it can scratch and damage the aligner material.

C. Soak Your Aligners in a Cleaning Solution

Soaking your aligners in a cleaning solution can help remove bacteria and prevent odors. You can use a commercial cleaning solution or make your own by mixing equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide or water and vinegar. Soak your aligners for 15-20 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly with cool water.

D. Rinse Your Aligners Thoroughly Before Reinserting Them

Before putting your aligners back in your mouth, rinse them thoroughly with cool water to remove any cleaning solution residue.

E. Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Cleaners

Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach or alcohol, or abrasive cleaners, such as baking soda, to clean your aligners. These can damage the aligner material and make them less effective in straightening your teeth.

Tips for Maintaining Fresh and Sanitary Aligners:

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some tips you can follow to help maintain the freshness and sanitation of your clear aligners:

A. Brush and Floss Before Putting Your Aligners Back In

Brushing and flossing before putting your aligners back in your mouth can help remove any food particles and bacteria that may have accumulated in your mouth since the last time you cleaned your aligners.

B. Avoid Eating or Drinking with Your Aligners In

Eating or drinking with your aligners in can lead to staining and discoloration, as well as bacteria buildup. It's best to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.

C. Store Your Aligners in a Clean, Dry Place When Not in Use

When you're not wearing your aligners, it's important to store them in a clean, dry place. Avoid leaving them out in the open, as this can increase the risk of bacteria buildup. Instead, keep them in their case or a clean, dry container.

D. Replace Your Aligners as Directed by Your Orthodontist

Your orthodontist will provide you with a treatment plan that outlines how often you should replace your aligners. It's important to follow these instructions to ensure the best results from your treatment.


Keeping your clear aligners fresh and sanitary is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your aligners remain clean and effective in straightening your teeth. Remember to rinse your aligners every time you remove them, clean them with a soft toothbrush and a cleaning solution, and follow the tips for maintaining freshness and sanitation. With proper care, you can achieve the smile you've always wanted with clear aligners.

Are you ready to achieve the smile you've always wanted?

Contact SmilePath New Zealand today to learn more about clear aligners and how they can benefit your orthodontic treatment.


How long does the treatment with clear aligners usually take?

The treatment time with clear aligners varies depending on the severity of your case. On average, it takes between 6 and 18 months to achieve the desired results.

Can clear aligners be used to treat all orthodontic issues?

Clear aligners can be used to treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, including overcrowding, spacing, and bite problems. However, severe cases may require traditional braces.

Are clear aligners comfortable to wear?

Clear aligners are designed to be comfortable to wear and are made from a smooth, plastic material. Some patients may experience minor discomfort during the first few days of wearing a new aligner, but this usually subsides quickly.