Can I Shower with My Aligners In?
Oral Health Blog

Can I Shower with My Aligners In?

It's generally recommended not to shower with your aligners in place. Moisture and heat can affect the aligner material and increase the risk of bacteria buildup. When not wearing them, store them safely and clean them with a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner to maintain hygiene and effectiveness.

Understanding Clear Aligners

  1. Purpose and Function: Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays designed to gradually shift teeth into the desired position over time. They are removable for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.

  2. Material and Construction: Aligners are typically made of medical-grade polyurethane plastic, which is durable and transparent. They are designed to fit snugly over teeth and apply gentle pressure to move them.

The Shower Dilemma: Can You Wear Aligners?

  1. Removability: Aligners should be removed before consuming food or beverages other than water. This includes while showering, as exposure to water, soap, and steam can potentially damage aligners and affect their effectiveness.

  2. Hygiene Considerations: Showering with aligners increases the risk of exposing them to bacteria and debris from water and toiletries. This can lead to bacterial buildup and potentially cause odor or damage to the aligner material.

Potential Risks of Showering with Aligners

  1. Damage to Aligners: Prolonged exposure to water and soap can weaken the aligner material, causing it to warp, crack, or become discolored. This compromises the fit and effectiveness of the aligners in moving teeth.

  2. Hygiene Issues: Moisture trapped between the aligner and teeth can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth, leading to oral hygiene concerns and potential discomfort.

Best Practices for Aligner Care

  1. Remove Before Showering: Always remove aligners before showering to protect them from exposure to water, steam, and soap residues.

  2. Store Safely: When not wearing aligners, store them in their designated case to prevent loss or damage. Avoid placing them in tissues or napkins, which can easily be discarded.

  3. Clean Thoroughly: After removing aligners, rinse them with lukewarm water to remove saliva and debris. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush aligners with clear, antibacterial soap or aligner cleaning solution recommended by your orthodontist.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Aligners

  1. Regular Brushing and Flossing: Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after every meal or snack and before reinserting aligners. Floss daily to remove food particles that can get trapped between teeth and aligners.

  2. Aligner Soaks: Use persulfate-free aligner cleaning tablets to soak aligners periodically, as recommended by your orthodontist. This helps eliminate bacteria and keeps aligners clear and odor-free.

FAQs About Aligner Use

  1. Can I drink water with aligners in?

    • Yes, it's safe to drink water while wearing aligners. Remove them for any other beverages.
  2. How often should aligners be worn?

    • Aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours per day for optimal results. Remove them only for eating, drinking (except water), brushing, and flossing.


While clear aligners offer flexibility and comfort in orthodontic treatment, it's crucial to follow proper care guidelines to maintain their effectiveness and hygiene. Avoid wearing aligners while showering or exposing them to water, as this can lead to damage and hygiene issues. By adopting good oral hygiene practices and adhering to your orthodontist's recommendations, you can achieve a straighter smile with clear aligners comfortably and effectively.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE. 



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.