Why Does My Invisalign Smell?
Whether you’re new to Invisalign or you’re almost finished treatment, you’re probably excitedly looking forward to seeing your brand new smile. Rightfully so! But as you make your way through your treatment plan, you may be experiencing some … well, unpleasant side effects. Without proper care, it doesn’t take much for your clear aligners to get stained or start to smell bad. That’s why diligent oral hygiene is absolutely critical when you have Invisalign.
As Diamond+ Invisalign Providers in Naperville, Shorewood and beyond, the board-certified orthodontists at Sensational Smiles are experts in all things Invisalign. They’re here to share all their best tips for keeping your Invisalign aligners clean so you can ensure a healthy smile not just throughout your treatment, but for life.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- Why Invisalign aligners smell bad
- Oral hygiene tips for Invisalign wearers
- How to clean stained Invisalign aligners
Why Do My Invisalign Aligners Smell Bad?
Have you ever wondered why your Invisalign aligners have developed a strange or unpleasant odor? Don’t worry — you’re not alone! While off-putting, this can be a totally common part of the Invisalign process. However, when cared for properly, Invisalign aligners should never smell. So if you’re asking yourself why your Invisalign aligners smell bad, it’s time to step up your oral hygiene regime.
Invisalign aligners only ever start to smell if you’re slacking on brushing and flossing your teeth. Proper oral hygiene is always important, but when you’re undergoing any orthodontic treatment, it requires even more attention. Often, Invisalign wearers forget to brush and floss after each snack or meal, or they think it’s not really that important. And while forgetting once or twice throughout treatment won’t have a measurable impact on your oral health, repeatedly opting out of brushing and flossing can lead to lasting issues.
At best, your clear aligners will smell bad or you’ll have bad breath with Invisalign. At worst, you could develop gum disease. That’s because failing to brush and floss allows harmful plaque and food particles to build up on your teeth, creating the ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive. So how do you prevent your Invisalign aligners from smelling bad? Read on for Sensational Smile’s Invisalign oral health tips.
How to Keep Invisalign Aligners Clean
The good news is that it’s very easy to avoid malodorous clear aligners. All you have to do is take proper care of your teeth and your appliance. Here’s how to keep Invisalign aligners clean:
- Drink Lots of Water
One of the best ways to keep your teeth free and clear of food build-up is to drink plenty of water. Not to mention that staying hydrated is beneficial to your overall health. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times throughout your Invisalign treatment so you can rinse away the bad stuff and keep your aligners odor-free.
- Always Clean Your Aligners
Whether it’s your breath that smells bad or your Invisalign, keeping your aligners clean is a surefire way to fix the problem. Never consume any foods or beverages (other than water) when you’re wearing your aligners, and always wash them thoroughly after every single meal or snack using toothpaste and a toothbrush. Be careful only to use lukewarm water to avoid warping the plastic aligners.
- Brush and Floss After Every Meal
It’s common knowledge (we hope!) that you should always brush twice and floss once daily. But when you have Invisalign, you’ll need to add in a few more sessions. If you put your aligners back in without brushing and flossing first, food particles will fester and create harmful odor-causing build-up. Fortunately, one of the best perks of Invisalign is that, unlike with braces, you can brush and floss your teeth just like you always have. Just be sure to brush and floss after every snack, meal or beverage that isn’t water, before popping your aligners back in, to help avoid bad-smelling Invisalign aligners.
- Avoid Tobacco and Caffeine
Often, if Invisalign smells bad, it can be the result of caffeine or tobacco usage. If you use any type of tobacco products (including cigarettes, hookah, chewing tobacco or cigars) you may want to think about reducing or eliminating your consumption. Tobacco isn’t just bad for your teeth during orthodontic treatment, either — it’s harmful for your teeth and your health overall. Cutting tobacco from your lifestyle can only stand to improve your lifelong health.
As for caffeine, drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages can lead to bad breath with Invisalign or bad-smelling aligners. Once again, it’s important to brush your teeth after consuming any beverage that isn’t water and it’s especially important after drinking coffee. To avoid this issue, try choosing decaffeinated coffee or tea, or eating energy-boosting foods like bananas or nuts.
- Use Mouthwash
Sometimes, you can do all the right things and still have smelly Invisalign aligners. So if you’re brushing and flossing appropriately, cleaning your aligners after every meal, and your Invisalign aligners still smell bad, using mouthwash may help to keep odors at bay.
How to Clean Stained Invisalign Aligners
We’ve covered how to avoid bad-smelling Invisalign and how to properly care for your aligners, but what if your clear aligners are already stained? There are a few things you can do to clean Invisalign trays to make sure you’re getting the most of your treatment. After all, the Invisalign system is designed to be clear and discreet. Here’s how to get rid of stains on Invisalign aligners:
- Invisalign Crystals
Invisalign covers all the bases and has a specially designed cleaning system to keep your aligners stain-free. The Invisalign cleaning crystals work to remove plaque and stains from your aligners in just 15 minutes. Simply add your clear trays to a mixture of crystals and water, shake, and wait for the magic to happen.
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda is a tried-and-true way to remove stains from almost any surface, and this also applies to your Invisalign aligners. If your aligners are stained, try soaking them in a mixture of half water and half a 50-percent hydrogen peroxide, along with two teaspoons of baking soda. You may need to leave them soaking overnight for tougher stains.
For minor Invisalign stains, vinegar can be a great solution. Mix one part vinegar to three parts of water and let your aligners soak for at least 20 minutes. Then brush and rinse them with water to buff out stains.
It’s natural to feel self-conscious about wearing stained Invisalign aligners but as long as you practice good oral hygiene and take proper care of your appliance, you can rest assured that your aligners will remain clean, clear and discreet. However, you only wear each set of aligners for a few weeks before moving onto the next set. So if your aligners do become discolored, you’ll get a brand new set before you know it.
Really, the concern is less about how stained aligners look and more about the underlying cause of stained aligners. At Sensational Smiles, our number one priority is helping you achieve the healthiest, most beautiful smile possible and that starts with proper oral health care. If you’re looking for more tips on how to clean Invisalign aligners or how to take care of your teeth during treatment, or if you’re wondering if Invisalign is right for you, contact Sensational Smiles today.