Whether you’re going through teeth straightening treatment or you’ve already completed it, you’ll know the value of those pieces of plastic that make your straighter smile possible. Clear aligners might not look like much, but they’re amazing little pieces of kit. Designed just for you and made from sturdy plastic, they’re exactly what your smile needs.
Your clear aligners, or retainers, need to be kept looking their best. Cleaning’s about more than keeping them shiny so they sparkle every time you smile. Proper cleaning keeps aligners free from bacteria, making them safe and hygienic. A good cleaning product will protect from odors and keep your aligners free from stains. Most bacteria and germs can’t be seen unless the build-up is severe. You might not even realize what’s hiding out on your clear aligners.
Why might you need to clean your aligners with more than soap and water?
Soap and water can only do so much. The shape of your aligners can make it hard to get into all the little gaps and curves. Cleaning with soap also relies on you getting things just right on your own.
With a better aligner or retainer cleaner, you know the cleaning’s done right.
Most people only need their aligners to last for two weeks. Once you’ve worn your aligners for about half a month, you’ll move on to a new set of trays. You might think that soap and water are good enough, but some people like to be more careful. With retainers, being careful is even more important. Retainers need to last for six months. That’s a lot of time for bacteria to build up and make their home on your plastic retainers.
Retainers need to last for six months. That’s a lot of time for bacteria to build up and make their home on your plastic retainers.
If you want something more than just soap and water, an aligner or retainer cleaner is an investment worth making. These are designed to be mild and gentle, so they don’t damage the plastic, but tough on all the germs and bacteria that might be sitting on the surface.
Keeping your aligners and retainers clean is very important for good health. Hidden bacteria can damage gums and teeth, as well as sometimes making people ill.
With a good aligner cleaner, you know your aligners or retainers have been cleaned effectively. These cleaners don’t miss a thing, so you’ll really have something to smile about.
What types of cleaner are available?
Most people use cleaning tablets designed for aligners and retainers. Cleaning tablets for dentures are just the same but sold under different brand names. There are lots of different tablets that all do the same thing, though some are more effective than others. Most of these tablets dissolve in water, working in about 20 minutes.
Other options for cleaning your aligners include foams, pre-mixed solutions and UV sterilizers. All these options are available so you can choose the best one that you think will be best. All cleaning products for aligners and retainers are designed to be safe to use, as well as being gentle without abrasive ingredients that could leave your aligners scratched or weakened.
Here are some of the best aligner and retainer cleaners you can buy:
Best aligner and retainer cleaners
iSonic F3900 Denture Cleaner
The iSonic F3900 costs around $40. This powerful cleaner for dental devices uses sound waves and sonic vibrations. Add iSonic Denture Cleaning Powder and water, then switch it on for a five-minute cycle. At the end of the cycle, lift the lid on your cleaner and more hygienic clear aligners.
The iSonic Cleaner is AC powered, so it always has enough power to do its job effectively. To protect your aligners and retainers, there’s a five-minute auto cutoff feature.
One button gets cleaning started, so the iSonic is easy to operate. You don’t have to adjust any settings to get the great clean your clear aligners deserve.
As the iSonic F3900 works, it creates thousands of tiny bubbles. When these bubbles collapse they create tiny vacuums, sucking the bacteria away from the surface of retainers and clear aligners. These tiny bubbles get into the gaps that a toothbrush might find it hard to reach. The small sonic movements are gentle enough to keep plastics in top condition.
Reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The iSonic F3900 really works on aligners and retainers, including ones that have been neglected in the past and need a very deep clean. The iSonic makes a visible difference, getting rid of stains and not just the invisible bacteria.
Retainer Brite tablets are some of the most popular products for cleaning aligners and retainers. They don’t just remove the visible stains but also get rid of invisible bacteria that are hiding on the surface of the plastic. Your aligners are kept clean, hygienic, odor-free and stain-free, so you can be proud of your smile even with your clear aligners.
A Retainer Brite box contains 36 tablets. That’s enough for a month of cleaning, with a few left over for next month. You can also save money with a larger box of 120 tablets. 120 tablets will last almost four months, for less than $20 in total.
It’s easy to use Retainer Brite tablets. Just dissolve a tablet in warm water, and wait until it’s completely gone. Then, submerge your aligners or retainers and leave them alone for 20 minutes. When you return, rinse them before you put them back into your mouth. Don’t worry if you leave your aligners in the liquid for a little too long – the Retainer Brite solution is gentle on plastic and won’t damage your aligners at all. Some people even choose to clean retainers all day if they only need to wear them at night.
If you wear your clear aligners all day and night, it’s best to use Retainer Brite when eating. This is when you’d remove your aligners anyway. Clean your aligners during your meal, then brush your teeth before you reinsert them. Retainer Brite tablets should be used once a day. Rinse your aligners at other times.
M3 Naturals Extra Strength Retainer Cleaner
M3 Naturals Extra Strength tablets have anti-bacterial properties. They don’t just clean your aligners or retainers but keep them free from unpleasant odors and stains. Simply add an M3 cleaning tablet to a cup of warm water, along with your dental appliances, then wait 15 minutes for the tablet to do its job properly. After 15 minutes, you can rinse your retainers or aligners and start wearing them again.
M3 Naturals tablets are safe to use and won’t damage your aligners or retainers. Even if you left them soaking overnight, there would be no signs of damage. In fact, it’s recommended that you soak for hours if there are stubborn stains to remove. With most aligners that’s not possible, as you’ll need to wear them for at least 20 hours out of every 24, but if you only wear your aligners or retainers overnight then you could leave them soaking all day.
People like that these cleaning tablets are effective and don’t leave an aftertaste. Many recommend a longer clean if you’ve got the time to spare, as 15 minutes isn’t always enough to remove the most embedded stains. You’ll get a box of 120 tablets for just over $20, which makes these cleaning tablets a great choice for long-term use.
Smile Direct Club Ultrasonic and UV Cleaning Machine
You might already have heard of Smile Direct Club. As well as creating a lot of dental care products, this brand also makes clear aligners. In fact, you might have got your own aligners from Smile Direct Club themselves. With the Ultrasonic and UV Cleaner, you can clean any brand of aligners or your post-treatment retainers.
The Ultrasonic and UV Cleaning Machine can clean your aligners with just water. You can also add a cleaning tablet if you want to be totally sure. This compact container is mains-powered, removing bacteria with powerful vibrations and UV light at the same time. As well as dental appliances like retainers and aligners, it can also be used to sterilise your toothbrush heads.
This is one of the more expensive ways to clean your aligners or retainers. The machine itself costs just under $40. Think of this as a long-term investment – there may be cheaper alternatives out there, but this needs just water and will clean your aligners from the first day until your treatment ends. It’ll then continue to clean your retainers for many following years. Even if you bought this near the end of your treatment, you’d likely still be making a worthwhile purchase as you need to wear retainers long-term.
Just be aware that this Smile Direct Club product isn’t the quietest option. Expect loud buzzing for the full 10-minute cleaning cycle.
Foam Bright acts as a cleaner for aligners, dentures, retainers and more. It’s also a whitening toothpaste, so you can use it directly on your teeth with your regular toothbrush. A 50ml bottle with a pump dispenser will cost just over $15. Expect this bottle to last about two months in total.
Foam Bright kills bacteria, removes odors and helps whiten your teeth. It cleans aligners and retainers to keep them clear and stain-free. As it doesn’t require any soaking or rinsing, it’s easy to use on the go. If you don’t have easy access to a faucet and fresh water, you can still clean aligners with Foam Bright.
Foam Bright can reach those bits of your aligners or retainers that you can’t reach on your own. The foam finds its way into every little space, making sure that everywhere gets clean. With a spearmint taste, your mouth will feel fresh whenever Foam Bright is used.
EverSmile WhiteFoam’s a foaming cleaner for medical-grade clear plastics. It works great on aligners and retainers, for fast cleaning absolutely anywhere. You don’t need to worry about cleaning your aligners when you’re away from home, because WhiteFoam doesn’t need rinsing and you don’t need a supply of fresh water. You can use WhiteFoam wherever you are, on vacation or in the office. Even better, EverSmile WhiteFoam is sugar-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.Table could not be displayed.
To use WhiteFoam, just spray the foam into your aligner or retainer trays. Then, put the trays back into your mouth even before the foam’s dissolved. In less than 60 seconds this foam gets to work, removing bacteria and reducing stains whilst helping to freshen your breath. It has a fresh minty taste that’s perfect at the end of a meal.
As well as cleaning your aligners or retainers, WhiteFoam will work on your teeth. This extra cleaning for your teeth is perfect when you’re out and about, in places where you can’t easily use toothpaste and your toothbrush. Its whitening properties will keep your teeth looking cleaner and more shiny than ever.
For less than $30 you get EverSmile WhiteFoam with a supply that should last for 30 days. You also get two sets of OrthoChews to help position your aligners more effectively. Use the chewies to make sure your aligners sit comfortably against your teeth, reducing pain and making your treatment faster and more successful.
Which aligner and retainer cleaner should you choose?
It can be difficult to choose just one cleaning product for your aligners or retainers. But, if you choose the right product, one cleaner will be all you need.
Decide what you want most from a cleaning product. Cleaning foams can often be used as a toothpaste, as well as used for cleaning your aligners. This means that foam is a 2-in-1 product that offers better value for money. With a foam you can keep your teeth looking their best as you go through teeth straightening treatment.
Ultrasonic cleaners often need extra tablets or granules, so be aware of that. These aren’t the cheapest choice for cleaning your aligners, but could be best if you want a more intense or deeper clean. They might not be worthwhile for when you’re wearing aligners, but could be better when you move on to retainers that need to last for a long time.
Cleaning tablets, like Retainer Brite, have always been a very popular choice. They’re affordable, effective and easy to use which means that many people prefer them. Most cleaning tablets do the same job, though some might be slightly more effective than others. Stick to trusted brands and buy from reputable sellers.
Whether you buy separate cleaners or not, always remember to clean your aligners or your retainers every day. Also remember to rinse after meals, before you reinsert your aligners. Don’t put your aligners back into your mouth until you’ve brushed your teeth and cleaned your aligner trays.