The short version is no, you shouldn't, and it isn't recommended by us either. Clear aligners are strong enough to withstand biting pressure, but they aren't abrasion resistant or scratch resistant. This means that if you attempt to clean them using a brush and toothpaste, you will more than likely come away with scratched, damaged aligners. And those scratches can allow food and bacteria to build up inside of your mouth, creating stinking breath and unsightly coloration.
If I Can't Use Toothpaste, How Do I Clean Them?
When you got the aligners, there should have been a conversation on how to properly care for them, but if you've lost the paperwork or you are caring for someone else's aligners, we have you covered. The best way to clean them is by finding a cleaner specifically designed for them. If you find these, simply follow the instructions on the cleanser to best clean them. However, if you cannot find them or don't have access to them currently, some other options should be considered before toothpaste and a brush.
Household items and products can be used to sufficiently clean your aligners while causing minimal damage to them. We find that soaking them in warm water with soap and sometimes hydrogen peroxide is a great way to get off food and bacteria without scrubbing the sensitive surface. Beyond this, you can consider using vinegar or denture tablets to clean them, but you must ensure that all of the residue is removed before you return them to your mouth.
Things to Avoid
A lot of old-timey ways to clean teeth will actually damage your aligners. Don't use baking soda as a scrubbing agent (but you can use it to soak with), don't use mouthwash to soak them, do not ever use bleach, do not use hard or colored toothpaste, and do not use toothbrushes unless they are extremely gentle. There is a lot more to talk about when it comes to clear aligners; if you'd like to learn more, contact us today.
About Star Orthodontics | Braces Corpus Christi, TX At Star Orthodontics, we are committed to providing our patients with Star Treatment and Star Results! Our office is conveniently located in Corpus Christi, TX! Star Orthodontics - Dr. Roxanne Robertson, 4750 S. Padre Island Dr. Suite 101, Corpus Christi, Tx 78411 ^ 361-371-8555 ^ starbraces.com ^ 12/7/2023 ^ Page Keywords: orthodontist Corpus Christi ^