If you’ve ever used Invisalign or other clear dental aligners, you know the importance of keeping them clean. When I first got mine, my orthodontist hooked me up with a trial set of Retainer Brite cleaning products. They worked alright, but I was dismayed to find that they’re pretty expensive.
Then I learned a trick: You can use Polident cleaning tablets on Invisalign retainers. This is an inexpensive and effective way to clean your Invisalign trays at home using products from your local grocery store.
There are tons of ways to save money on dental expenses. But not all of the knockoff brands are worth it! Also check out my review on generic Sonicare replacement heads.
Use Polident Effervescent Tablets On Invisalign
Invisalign cleaning tablets are flat circular tablets that are about the same shape and size as two pennies stacked on top of one another. Once a day you place your Invisalign retainers into a cup of water along with the cleaning tablet. The tablet dissolves, releasing cleaning products into the water. In addition there is some effervescent action, which provides agitation. This helps with the cleaning process.
The thing is, the products that are marketed for cleaning Invisalign trays work in the exact same way as your typical denture cleaning tablets. Denture cleaning tablets are much cheaper and more widely available and cheaper than the specialty ones. So YES, you can use Polident cleaning tablets on Invisalign!
Side note: Are you a coffee drinker? Do you get annoyed taking off your aligners so they don’t get stained by coffee? Check out my review on Prolab caffeine tablets.
Polident 3 Minute Denture Cleaners
Polident 3 Minute Denture Cleaners are available at most grocery stores as well as online retailers like Amazon. They come in a box of 120 tablets.
Inside the box, you’ll find 120 individually-wrapped tablets arranged into sets of six tear-away pouches. This is very similar to the name brand, except these seem to tear apart a little easier. That’s incredibly convenient when I’m traveling and want to bring exactly the right number of tablets.
How To Clean Invisalign Retainers – Polident Denture Cleanser Comparison
|Polident Denture Cleanser||Name Brand Aligner & Retainer Cleaner|
|Price||$5.88 – $0.05 per tablet||$13.99 – $0.15 per tablet|
|Quantity||120 tablets||96 tablets|
|Type||Individually-wrapped effervescent tablets||Individually-wrapped effervescent tablets|
|Speed||3 minutes||15 minutes|
Effectiveness – Best Way To Clean Invisalign Retainers
The brand name tablets claim to kill 99% of bacteria in 15 minutes. These Polident tablets claim to kill 99.99% of bacteria in 3 minutes. That’s a lot cleaner, and a lot faster.
Subjectively, my aligners look visibly cleaner when using this product, than with any other cleaning product. I do prefer to leave them in the solution for longer than 3 minutes, so that might have something to do with it as well.
Polident tablets are faster, cheaper, and more effective at killing bacteria. In my opinion they are simply superior to Retainer Brite and similar specialty tablets for Invisalign retainers.
Why is it necessary to talk about the flavor of a cleaning product? You’re not supposed to drink it!
Well, no matter how much you rinse your aligners or other dental device, there’s going to be a tiny bit of cleaning solution left over. And you will taste it.
Fortunately, the Polident tablets just leave behind a barely-noticeable mint flavor. I would prefer “no flavor”, but I don’t always get everything I want.
As someone who is very sensitive to the flavor of residual soap, I prefer Polident tablets over any other brand.
Deep Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
Even if you are diligent about cleaning your Invisalign trays every day, eventually you will encounter the accumulation of tartar and other icky debris that does not come off with the use of cleaning tablets. It is time for a deep clean!
My first “deep clean” trick is a 50% mixture of hot water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. The stuff in the brown bottle from the drug store. The aggressive bubbling action of hydrogen peroxide is fantastic at breaking up organic matter.
Then — and this is going to seem obviously in retrospect — I take my toothbrush, some toothpaste, and simply brush the Invisialign tray or retainer in the same manner that I brush my teeth. For a quick and easy cleanup you can do this while wearing the retainer. Or for an even deeper clean you can take them off and clean the inside too.
I am kind of addicted to deep cleaning my Invisalign retainer. It’s so nice to keep it perfectly smooth and clean.
Denture Cleaning Tablets For Invisalign – Conclusion
These Polident cleaning tablets are more effective, faster acting, better tasting, and much less expensive than the name-brand competitor. I can’t recommend them enough.
Update 8/21/2022: I have now finished my round of Invisalign braces. Now I have to wear regular plastic retainers at night. I still use my Polident tablets to clean these retainers! After several years I have not found a better product for everyday cleaning of dental devices.