Day 54 - Another Use For Vinegar: Cleaning Invisalign

Image: Jamali Garden

Anyone else out there still wearing Invisalign or some other kind of dental gear at night?

I had braces when I was a teenager, and like many teenagers who have had braces, I was not diligent about wearing my retainers after my braces were removed, so over time my teeth shifted a lot, to the point that they gave me problems as an adult. 

I spent a lot of time and money in my twenties re-correcting my teeth, and since I had to pay for it myself the second time around, I had a much better appreciation for the value of my new smile.  Hence, I have worn my Invisalign retainers diligently almost every night since I completed my victory lap at the orthodontist. 

WHEN YOUR RETAINERS GET GROSS LOOKING

As anyone who has ever worn them will know, retainers can get pretty nasty after a while, even if you scrub them daily with your toothbrush.  Since I'm learning all about natural cleaning product solutions, I looked in my own pantry to see if there was something non-toxic that could help me get my Invisalign sparkling and squeaky clean again.  

Someone once mentioned to me that you could soak your retainers in equal parts white vinegar and water without doing damage to the retainers.  Products like Retainer Brite can actually wear the material down over time, plus they come individually packaged which ruled them out for me.  Toothpaste is too abrasive as well. 

HOW TO CLEAN

I gave the vinegar a try with great results.  I filled a small glass with half water and half vinegar, plunked my retainers into the glass, and let them soak while I was at work.  When I came home, I took them out and brushed them with my toothbrush in a motion perpendicular to the "teeth".  All the residue came off and they felt remarkably clean when I put them in that night before going to bed.  

I now rinse them immediately after taking them out in the morning, so that bacteria won't have a chance to grow and threaten my gums when I wear them.  I'll definitely use the vinegar and water trick the next time they start to feel mucky.  

What other surprise uses have you found for vinegar?