The Do’s and Don’ts of Clear Aligners

The Straight Talk Blog

While clear aligners are the most convenient and effective method of straightening teeth for most people, they do come with some basic ground rules. We know, we know, that’s all you need in your life…more rules, right? But if you want to get the most out of your clear teeth aligners, it’s important that you keep up with their care, make sure you wear them as long as you should each day and report back to the ortho if you’re having a problem so it can be corrected quickly.

You may have some questions about how the process works, and we’re here to help. Check out our do’s and don’ts of how you can achieve a killer smile with Invisalign!


  • Take your Invisalign trays out every morning, brush your teeth and clean the trays thoroughly: This is because bacteria builds up on the trays while you sleep. Establishing a regular morning routine is vital to maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping your aligners looking and smelling great. Do this every evening before you head to bed too.
  • Rinse off your aligners every time you remove them: On top of the morning and evening routines we mentioned above, you should rinse your aligners each time you take them out. This will prevent plaque and dried saliva from building up. You may clean your aligners with some clear anti-bacterial soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove stuck-on particles.
  • Wear your aligners 20-22 hours a day as recommended; otherwise, you won’t get the full value and benefit of Invisalign. And we want you to see results!
  • Always pack what you need: This will help you to correctly care for your aligners. Carry a small bag with you wherever you go so you can care for your trays and aligners even when on the go.
  • Soak your aligners once daily: This will ensure your aligners look and smell their best. Use a denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals. Once done soaking, use a spare toothbrush to get off any caked-on food or plaque. Then rinse them before inserting them into your mouth again.
  • Brush and floss your teeth prior to placing the aligners back in your mouth: It’s equally important to keep your teeth and gums clean. Brush and floss after eating and before putting your trays back in. If you don’t, food particles could become trapped against your teeth.
  • Keep aligners out of direct sun, hot cars, and excessive heat.
  • Store your aligners safely away from pets and children when not in use.
  • Be sure to get regular dental cleanings and checkups to ensure your teeth and gums are in good shape.


  • Leave your trays lying around: When not in use, properly store your invisible aligners in their case. If you leave them out in the open air, they get exposed to more buildup of bacteria. Plus, there’s a better chance of them getting lost or damaged. This is why you should always have your aligner case with you. If you do leave them out, be sure to soak and rinse them before using them again.
  • Neglect to plan accordingly for long trips: Because you have to switch out your aligners every few weeks, some degree of planning is necessary during Invisalign treatment. If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, pack the new trays along with your existing ones, or arrange to have them shipped to your location. This will avoid disruptions in treatment.
  • Eat or drink with aligners in your mouth: The only thing you should be drinking while wearing your teeth aligners is water. If you plan to eat or drink anything else, take the aligners out first. You don’t want food particles to get stuck in there or cause the trays to get stained and damaged. Invisalign is not built to support the pressure presented by eating.
  • Use toothpaste or colored/scented soaps to clean your Invisalign trays: Avoid these, as they will leave a residue on your trays and discolor them. On top of that, your aligners will develop an unpleasant taste.
  • Use sharp objects to remove aligners.
  • Wrap aligners in a napkin or paper towel.
  • Use hot water to clean your aligners.
  • Place them in the dishwasher, as high temps can damage them
  • Soak your aligners in mouthwash, which can damage or discolor them.
  • Bite your aligners into position, which can damage both the aligners and your teeth.

We know this is a lot to digest at the moment. But while these rules may seem overwhelming at first, you will quickly get into a routine that you can follow without incident.

Need more advice and info on clear aligners? We have the answers.

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