Stinky Clear Aligners? - How To Resolve The Issue

If you have recently started wearing clear aligner trays to straighten your teeth, then you may be thrilled about how they are unnoticeable to others. While this is true, you may have noticed something that is not so invisible to your friends, coworkers, and family members. Specifically, you may have learned a bit about the smell that is emitted from the Invisalign aligners. A slight odor is common, and odors typically build the longer you wear your trays. If you want to understand where the smell comes from and how to get rid of it, keep reading.

Why Do Clear Aligners Smell?

Clear aligners smell, in part, for the same reason that your breath can sometimes smell. Part of the smell is the enzymes in your saliva. This is the distinctive wet odor that you may recognize. The aligners also smell due to the plaque and the bacteria that eat the plaque. Plaque is the sticking substance that you see in the crevices of your teeth after you eat. This plaque creates a film on your aligners.

Once plaque develops, bacteria start eating the food. These microorganisms release gases and acidic substances that make your breath and your aligners smell foul. 

In most cases, the odor will stop or reduce significantly once you switch out your trays. However, it can build again if you do not take preventative measures to stop foul odors from developing in the first place. 

How Can You Prevent The Smell?

You can keep clear aligners smelling fresh by following some of the guidelines that your dental professional outlines at the beginning of your treatment. Specifically, you should always remove your aligners whenever you consume anything other than water. You especially want to stay away from sugary drinks and foods while the aligners are in your mouth.

If you do remove the aligners to consume something, then brush afterwards. Also, rinse the aligners with warm water before placing them back into your mouth. Swishing with mouthwash just before inserting the aligners is a good choice as well, and so is flossing.

If you do not have an opportunity to floss multiple times a day, then some plaque will likely build on the Invisalign trays. This is normal, and the plaque can be released with a soak. You can buy tablets from your dental professional for use with your aligner. You can also make your own soak with some baking soda and vinegar. However, try to stay away from toothpastes and other products that can scratch your braces. Any product with an abrasive substance will create grooves in the aligners that allow more plaque to build. 

Talk with your dentist for more information about Invisalign and how to keep them clean and smelling good.