by Christian Lawson January 26, 2024 4 min read

Dr. Emma Laing: Video Summary


Dr. Emma Laing: The Dental pod effectively cleans aligners. It’s quick and convenient and you don’t need to worry about damaging your aligners. I recommend that you regularly use the Dental pod to clean your aligners and eventually your retainer once your treatment has concluded.

Click here to order your Dental pod now for sparkling clean aligners!

Dr. Laing, what experience do you have with aligners?

I am an experienced Orthodontic Specialist and have been using aligner treatments since 2008 as well as more conventional brace treatments. I have been working as a Specialist in Harley Street, London for 14 years.

I have treated thousands of patients with regular braces or aligners (such as Invisalign) followed by retainers to hold the result.

I recently won the Interdisciplinary Team Orthodontic-Surgical Prize at the 2021 Aesthetic Dentistry Awards and am now a Judge for the Clinical Dentistry Awards.

Click here to check out my website!

Do I really need to clean my aligners?

Even though you may receive new aligners every 1-2 weeks, the aligners still require regular cleaning. Most of my patients like to clean their aligners when they wake in the morning with a dry mouth and the aligners feel unclean.

Just like the reasons we need to brush our teeth twice a day, plaque, tartar, viruses and bacteria can colonise your aligners quickly.

A study using microscopes to look at aligners found that they can be heavily colonised by bacteria after 1 hour of use.

If you choose not to clean your aligners regularly, they can get very smelly and dirty making them really unpleasant for you to wear.

I’d also strongly recommend continuing to use your ultrasonic cleaner if you use a retainer at the end of your aligner treatment for hygiene reasons and to help ensure it’s longevity.

What is an ultrasonic aligner cleaner?

An ultrasonic cleaner is a vibrating water bath.

The Dental pod is an ultrasonic aligner cleaner.

The Dental pod uses high-frequency 42,000 Hz ultrasonic waves to vibrate a cleaning solution and produce millions of nano-scale bubbles.

The intense vibrations and millions of bubbles deep clean your aligners at a microscopic level.

Is an ultrasonic aligner cleaner necessary?

A study using microscopes to look at clear plastic aligners found that traditional cleaning methods, such as rinsing with water and soaking in a chemical solution, remove significantly fewer microorganisms than ultrasonic cleaning with a sterilising tablet.

Debris and microorganisms are found in the rough surfaces of your aligners which are hard to clean with traditional methods.

The Dental pod is able to deep clean these hard-to-reach areas of your aligners.

Do ultrasonic aligner cleaners actually work?

The British Dental Journal stated that the Dental pod is a convenient way to deep clean oral appliances.

GQ included the Dental pod in their article ‘How to do Invisalign right’.

Research has found that ultrasonic cleaners cleaned aligners better than traditional cleaning methods including rinsing with water and soaking with a chemical solution.

Ultrasonic and chemical cleaning are very different.

Your aligners can benefit from performing both types of cleaning.

That is why I suggest using sterilising tablets with the Dental pod.

Is it safe to clean my aligners with an ultrasonic cleaner?

The continued use of an ultrasonic cleaner with your aligners does not cause any damage over time.

The ultrasonic cleaning method is completely non-abrasive, it has been widely used and trusted within the clinical dental and medical fields for decades.

Aligners can be damaged by excessive heat.

This is why it is important to purchase an ultrasonic cleaner that is specifically designed for oral appliances like the Dental pod, as other models can generate heat which can damage dental plastics.

How do ultrasonic cleaners clean my aligners?

Ultrasonic cleaners generate high-frequency vibrations. Vibrations clean your aligners in two ways:

  1. The liquid is forced against the surface of your aligners when vibrating, deep cleaning the appliance. 

  2. Tiny bubbles formed by the intense vibration of the cleaner rapidly expand and collapse, releasing a large amount of energy, continuously scouring and smashing the grime, bacteria and plaque while being non-abrasive to your aligners.

In the Dental pod, the 2nd action (called ‘cavitation’) occurs on average 4000 times per second. All surfaces and gaps of your aligners are continuously cleaned leading to a short but thorough cleaning cycle.

The combination of these cleaning techniques means the Dental pod is able to deep clean the hard-to-reach areas of your aligners.

Is it easy to clean my aligners with an ultrasonic cleaner? 

There are only 4 simple steps to clean your aligners with an ultrasonic cleaner:

    Fill the Dental pod with room temperature water and plug it into a wall socket.

    Drop in a sterilising tablet to increase the cleaning effect. 

    • Place your aligners in the water

      Drop your aligners into the water in the Dental pod.

      Your aligners must be fully submerged in the liquid to receive the full effects of ultrasonic cleaning.

        Put the lid on the Dental pod, turn the machine on and let it run for 5 minutes.

        Studies have shown that 5 minutes is the perfect amount of time to leave oral appliances in ultrasonic cleaners.

        • Retrieve your clean aligners from the Dental pod

          Your aligners will now be sparkling clean!

          I hope that youre now more confident about taking care of your aligners. If you need more advice, please dont hesitate to contact Zima Dental customer support at

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