The big selling point of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear, which means no-one has to know you're wearing them. However, aligners can become discolored or stained, which can make them visible to people you interact with on a daily basis. These five tips can help you keep your aligners clean and tackle any stains that occur.

1. Don't Wear Your Aligners When Eating

Eating while wearing your aligners is not only uncomfortable, but can also cause your aligners to develop stains. Always take them out before eating, even if you're only having a small snack. It's also a good idea to take your aligners out when drinking fluids that could stain them, such as black tea or coffee, although it's fine to drink water while wearing them. Remember to reinsert your aligners when you've finished eating or drinking so they can keep working on straightening your teeth.

2. Clean Your Teeth Before Reinsertion

Before you put your aligners back into your mouth, it's a good idea to brush and floss your teeth to remove any traces of food or plaque. Leaving a layer of plaque sandwiched between the plastic aligner and your teeth gives bacteria the perfect environment in which to multiply, which can lead to a build-up of unsightly yellow tartar. That's not a good look. Try to get into the habit of carrying a small toothbrush and paste in your purse or backpack so you can clean your teeth every time you eat.

3. Store Your Aligners Carefully

Every time you take your aligners out, you should pay attention to where you put them. Leaving aligners exposed to air can cause them to become covered with dust and germs. No matter how briefly you need to store your aligners, always put them in a container with a lid to keep them clean.

4. Clean Your Aligners at Least Twice a Day

You clean your teeth every morning and evening, but did you know you need to clean your Invisalign aligners too? The process is very similar to cleaning your natural teeth. After removing your aligners from your mouth, simply brush them with a soft toothbrush to scrub away plaque and stains. You don't need to use toothbrush; warm water is enough. Don't forget to clean the insides of the aligners as well as the outsides, as stains on either surface can be visible when you wear them.

5. Deep Clean Your Aligners to Remove Stains

If your aligners become stained despite your best efforts to keep them clean, ask your dentist for an Invisalign stain removal solution. You can soak your plastic aligners in this liquid to dissolve stains and return your aligners to their original clear state.