Your adult teeth have been a part of your life since you were about six years old. You probably want to keep them around even longer. Good dental hygiene is essential, and that’s even more true when you’re using clear aligners for teeth straightening.
One of the benefits of clear aligners is that they can be easily removed. Traditional braces are fixed to your teeth, but aligners can be taken out to make your life a bit easier. You’ll remove your aligners for eating and drinking, so food doesn’t get trapped underneath them. You can’t do this if you have braces with brackets and wires.
Clear aligners should be removed if you’re drinking something other than water. They should also be taken out for eating, and you shouldn’t put them back until you’ve cleaned your teeth and at least rinsed your aligner trays. It’s recommended that you wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, only taking them out for mealtimes and only drinking water between them.
Luckily, as they’re easy to remove, clear aligners are better than traditional braces for maintaining good dental hygiene. Being able to remove your clear aligners helps with full access to your teeth. You can also use a variety of products to keep your aligners at their best.
To look after your teeth and your aligners, you will need a suitable toothpaste. The right toothpaste can help with reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease. With so many to choose from, how do you know which is best when you’ve got clear aligners?
What makes a good toothpaste for clear aligners?
Traditional braces will cover your teeth, but clear aligners will leave them on show. One of the best things about clear aligners is how they’re almost invisible. When you’re wearing clear aligners, nobody will know and your teeth will just look the same as always.
With your teeth on show and not hidden away, you’ll want to keep them looking their best. A whitening toothpaste can help. Whitening toothpastes can make your teeth look whiter and give you a confidence boost.
Most clear aligners need to be rinsed with clean water or cleaned with detergent. You also have the option of buying aligner or retainer cleaning tablets. Most providers of clear aligners will recommend against using toothpaste to clean the plastic trays.
Every now and then, we find a provider that recommends you use toothpaste to brush your aligners just like you should brush your teeth. It’s always best to follow manufacturer instructions. If your aligners should be cleaned with toothpaste, you’ll need to find a non-abrasive product. Abrasive toothpastes might make your teeth sparkle, but could leave your aligners looking scratched and cloudy.
The flavor of your toothpaste is important. In a typical day with clear aligners, you’ll brush your teeth at least five times. You’ll brush in the morning, again after breakfast, and after two further meals. You’ll also brush at night, just before bed, and might need to brush your teeth at other times. You’ll spend at least 10 minutes every day brushing your teeth, so you’ll need a toothpaste that you’re happy to use and the flavor will need to be a good one.
As clear aligners press against your teeth, good brushing is essential for your health. You don’t want to trap those sugars and acids that might lead to gum disease and cavities.
Most people buy traditional toothpastes that come in a standard tube. Foaming toothpastes aren’t as popular, but are ideal if you’re using clear aligners. Usually in a bottle with a pump dispenser, foaming toothpastes will expand to find their way into every little gap. Foaming toothpastes help to access those hard-to-reach places and the ever-changing gaps between your teeth.
There are other reasons to buy foaming toothpastes instead of a traditional toothpaste. One is that they can be used to clear aligners, in a process that takes just a minute. Squeeze foaming toothpaste directly onto your aligners and they’ll help to break down acids and sugars. Foaming toothpastes don’t need to be rinsed, so you can put the filled aligners back into your mouth to clean your teeth at the same time.
If you have a busy day and you’ll be dining out, foaming toothpastes are a worthwhile investment. As they don’t need to be rinsed, you don’t need to have a faucet handy after every meal. You can clean your teeth easily, wherever you are, without access to a water supply.
Which is the best toothpaste to use with clear aligners?
There are many toothpastes that are good choices when you’re wearing clear aligners. You’ll have to find a toothpaste that you’ll be happy to use every day.
We’ve found some of the best toothpastes to use during teeth straightening treatment. All these toothpastes have specific benefits that make them great when you have clear aligners:
Active Wow Toothpaste
Active Wow is an effective whitening toothpaste. If you want a shining smile underneath your aligners, then Active Wow could be your best choice. This toothpaste can remove even deeper stains like coffee, soda and tobacco, leaving your teeth looking cleaner than they might have looked before.
This mint toothpaste uses baking soda to achieve its whitening power. It’s a traditional toothpaste straight from a tube, and should be used for everyday brushing if you want to enjoy the best results. After using Active Wow, people found that their teeth could look several shades whiter.
Formulated to take care of tooth enamel, providing long-term protection, REGENERATE Toothpaste can keep your teeth strong as you go through clear aligner treatment. This daily toothpaste helps to shield enamel from the acid and sugar that attacks it. That’s very important when you’re wearing aligners that might trap food and drink against your teeth.
Even with thorough cleaning after meals, there’s always a chance that something gets left behind. REGENERATE Toothpaste forms a protective layer that stops bacteria from getting to your teeth. Your teeth will be coated with an invisible shield that will help to keep them strong and free from cavities.
JASON Strengthening Paste
JASON Strengthening Paste has a spearmint flavor and will help to keep your teeth safe and strong. This everyday toothpaste works to strengthen enamel and uses non-abrasive ingredients. As well as being great for your teeth it can also be safely used on your clear aligners.
JASON Strengthening Paste is described as ‘Sea Fresh’ and it does have some interesting ingredients. Blue green algae and parsley are added to this product for a fresh taste and cleaning without chemicals. There are also sea salts that can heal your gums and drive away any inflammation.
Paradontax is a strong toothpaste that protects against gum disease and cavities. It’s a powerful choice for people that might not always have great dental hygiene. If you have a history of dental problems, using Paradontax during clear aligner treatment can provide a bit of extra reassurance.
Paradontax gets straight to work destroying plaque and any bacteria. This toothpaste is designed to look after your gums, with ingredients that will reduce inflammation and keep gingivitis at bay. If you’ve noticed that your gums aren’t in the best condition, using Paradontax as your everyday toothpaste might help to get things under control.
Aliver Teeth Whitening Foam Toothpaste
Created with baking soda, mint extracts and cleaning ingredients like xylitol, Aliver Toothpaste is a foaming product that you can use on the go. The foam helps this toothpaste to get between your teeth, into every gap of every size. This is useful during clear aligner treatment, when your teeth move and shift every day. There are always new gaps and spaces to clean, with Aliver Toothpaste finding every one.
This whitening foam toothpaste can also be used when you don’t have access to fresh water. It doesn’t need to be rinsed, so put it directly onto your teeth or your clear aligner trays. The foam can be used to clean your aligners even when you’re not near a faucet.
Total White Micro Foam Toothpaste
Designed for u-shaped toothbrushes, giving it the same properties that make it perfect for clear aligners, Total White Micro Foam Toothpaste is fast, effective and affordable. It has teeth whitening properties and is comfortable to use even if you have sensitive teeth. This foam toothpaste starts working straight away, whether you’re using it to brush your teeth or to clean your aligners without water. Bottles are small enough to carry around, so you can take them to the office or the bar.
Don’t worry about rinsing Total White Toothpaste from your teeth. If you haven’t got access to water, you can just use a bit of this foaming toothpaste on your clear aligner trays. Then, pop the trays back into your mouth and you’re ready to continue your day.
BlanX Whitening Toothpaste
Designed to be non-abrasive, BlanX Whitening Toothpaste is safe to use even on your clear aligners. It’s smooth enough to brush the plastic without lasting damage and scratches. BlanX can help to whiten your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of.
This whitening toothpaste is safe to use several times a day if it’s needed. This means that it’s a great choice when you have clear aligners and must brush your teeth after every meal. It’s quite a thick paste, so you’ll really feel how it coats your teeth to protect them.
Theodent Classic Toothpaste
It might have a higher price tag than most toothpastes, but Theodent Classic is designed to be effective and worth the extra investment. This premium toothpaste uses a fluoride alternative called Rennou, which contains cacao extracts. Don’t expect a delicious chocolate flavour, though. Theodent Classic has a fresh minty taste that will also help to freshen your breath.
This toothpaste is suitable for sensitive teeth, and helps to protect tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can lead to cavities, also making your teeth look more yellow, so protecting the enamel will keep your teeth strong and give them a shining white appearance. Cruelty free, this toothpaste is suitable for vegans as well.
How should you brush your teeth with clear aligners?
When you have clear aligners it’s very important to clean your teeth as well as you can. You should brush day and night, just like you always have, but also after every meal or snack. Leaving food on your teeth and reinserting your aligners could mean that food is trapped against the teeth. There it will sit, for several hours, eating away at your enamel. You should remove your aligners every time you eat, and when you’re drinking things other than water. Always rinse your aligners and brush your teeth before you continue your day.
Also remember to keep your aligners themselves in the best possible condition. As well as looking after your teeth, you’ll need to take care of the aligner trays. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, so you don’t risk any damage. Most will suggest using cleaning tablets or just rinsing your aligners with water, but others might suggest that you brush your aligner trays with a non-abrasive toothpaste. Another option is a UV cleaner that’s powered from the mains or by batteries.
As you go through teeth straightening treatment, your teeth are slightly more at risk than usual. It’s very important to maintain great dental hygiene and to visit your dentist for checkups. You don’t want to reach the end of your treatment and have a smile that you’re not proud of, so use your time wisely and look after your teeth so they’re strong, white and clean at the end.
Remember that your smile will change every week as your teeth move and shift to new positions. There are always new gaps and you need to be sure that your toothbrush gets into every one.