17 June, 2019


How to clean your retainer: 5 Tips

How to clean your retainer: 5 Tips

What if I told you that you could wear a lotion every night and it would prevent you from getting wrinkles on your face… I think I would be on to something!

Now what if I told you to wear a retainer every night and your teeth will never shift. It seems so easy yet it is that simple. A straight and healthy smile is, unfortunately, a life long commitment. To maintain all the hard work that goes into getting a great smile you must remember to wear your removable retainer every night. How long? As long as you want to keep your teeth straight

Most orthodontic retainers these days are standard clear plastic retainers. They are sometimes called Essix retainers, Invisible retainers or Invisalign retainers. There are a lot of different plastics used for these retainers but thankfully all the cleaning instructions are generally the same. I am going to share 5 tips for keep clear plastic retainers clean:

Brush them with a toothbrush twice a day (when you brush your teeth) to keep them clean.

Use liquid soap rather than toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and causes small surfaces scratches that lead to cloudiness in the retainer.
In addition to liquid soap you can also use mixture of peroxide diluted 1:1 with water once a week. This is will be a deeper clean to remove smell and bacteria buildup.
There are also cleaning tablets, cleaning crystals, cleaning liquids, and even foams! There are many excellent products out these days to help you with your retainer cleaning maintenance. I have found that using retainerbrite or efferdent tablets work great for routine maintenance.
When retainers are not in your mouth keep them in a case. Misplacing retainers, dropping them, or even the dog eating them can decrease the lifespan of a retainer.

Other types of retainers are Hawley retainers. These retainers are not quite so sensitive and can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The thick acrylic palate can absorb liquid/saliva so cleaning these regularly is very important. No one likes an old smelly retainer!

Permanent retainers are a bit different with cleaning because they are affixed to your teeth. This then falls under your proper oral hygiene routine. To keep the fixed wire clean you must floss with a floss threader around the retainer. Another alternative is to use a WaterPik.

It is important to keep retainer clean and in their case when not in use. With these simple instructions, and discipline to wear them, you can feel confident that you will have a clean retainer and straight teeth for the rest of your life!