The Best Ways to Keep Your SureSmile® Aligners Clean

SureSmile aligners Ann Arbor MI dentists

There are no metal brackets or wires with SureSmile® clear aligners, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still require daily cleaning. In fact, our Ann Arbor, MI, SureSmile dentists encourage patients who choose the orthodontic treatment to clean their aligners when waking, after eating, and before bedtime.

Here are a few ways you can avoid stains or built up bacteria on your SureSmile aligners.

Going Beyond Rinsing Your Aligners

If you wear clear aligners, it can be tempting to run them under some water and call them “clean”. However, it’s not that simple. For one, that method does nothing to address the bacteria that may be accumulating on the aligners.

Our dentists recommend that instead of only rinsing your aligners, you thoroughly clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes and most teen and adult SureSmile patients find it easiest to clean their aligners at the same time they are brushing their teeth.

Reduce the chance of stains and clean your aligners by:

  • Quickly rinsing them under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
  • Using your soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap to get rid of any food bits that may have stuck around from an earlier meal.
  • Carefully brushing the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
  • Giving them another rinse after you’re done brushing.
  • Placing them back in your mouth or inside their protective case when not in use.

Want to use toothpaste instead of clear soap? As long as toothpaste is non-abrasive and gentle, it is fine to use for cleaning clear aligners. Do not use whitening or any harsh toothpaste on your aligners to avoid damaging them.

What to Stay Away From When Cleaning Aligners

Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean aligners, it’s important that you also refrain from ever washing them in hot water. If you do, you risk warping the plastic and ruining the set you’re cleaning.

It’s best if you use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold as it will get the job done without being harmful. For times when you’d rather let your aligners soak, choose an approved cleaning solution. Never use mouthwash as alcohol within the mixture can distort your aligners and the colored dye can cause discoloration.

You can use the following soaking solutions:

  • Small amount of gentle liquid soap + a cup of water
  • One part vinegar + 3 parts warm water
  • Tbsp. of baking soda + ½ cup water
  • Denture cleanser

Other Cleaning Accessories You Can Try

At-home aligner cleaning methods work just fine, but if you want additional tools at your disposal, there are other options for purchase. Retainer Brite®, for example, has a line of products that will help keep your aligners sparkling clean.

Depending on your preferences, Retainer Brite has cleaning tablets, a cleaning foam, and a Sonic Cleaner available for use in your home. The tablets are dropped in water much like denture soaking tablets while the Sonic Cleaner uses sonic waves to loosen food or plaque bits and lift them from your aligners. The foam is also great for everyday use and on the go!

Ask Our Dentists About SureSmile

Cleaning your SureSmile clear aligners is much like caring for a nightly retainer but is even more important because staining will ruin their nearly invisible appearance. If you have more questions related to SureSmile care, our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, can help. Call Liberty Dental today at (734) 994-0909 or request an appointment online.