How To Clean A Retainer

how to clean retainer

Want to learn how to clean a retainer? Well, you’ve come to the right place. If you have one, you probably know that your retainer is used to minimize the movement of your teeth after your braces have been removed.

Retainers are definitely cool, but it doesn’t take much for a retainer to become soiled, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re cleaning the retainer regularly, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do it.

How to Clean a Retainer

Let’s jump right into it. To clean your retainer, you can use toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. It’s important to avoid using toothpaste that contains ingredients for tartar control because the abrasive particles aren’t good for the retainer.

The soft toothbrush is also important because it’s less abrasive. To get started, put some toothpaste onto the brush and begin gently scrubbing the retainer. Make sure to get every part of the retainer and don’t forget the sides.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to scrub aggressively. A gentle scrub is recommended because you don’t want to accidently damage the retainer.

Use a Denture Cleaner

Did you know that denture cleaners aren’t only for people who don’t have teeth? There are several different denture cleaners to choose from, and they should all work well for keeping your retainer clean. One of the best products on the market is Polident.

To clean your retainer with a denture cleaner, just soak it in the cleaning solution using the instructions recommended by the product manufacturer. After it has finished soaking, you can give it a gentle rinse and pop it into your mouth.


Another great cleaning agent for a retainer is mouthwash. However, before you choose to soak your retainer in mouthwash, you need to make sure that the wash doesn’t contain alcohol because it can damage the acrylic on the retainer.

Also, to avoid discoloration of the toothbrush, make sure to use a mouthwash product that isn’t colored. A clear solution works best because it won’t dye the retainer. For the best results, soak the retainer inside of the mouthwash for about 60 minutes.

Homemade Cleaning Solution

A lot of people don’t like using commercial products. If this describes you, then go ahead and make a homemade solution. You can combine one part vinegar to three parts water and soak your retainer inside of the homemade cleaning solution.

To get the best results, you should allow the retainer to soak for about 15 minutes. When it’s finished, take it out of the solution and give it a gentle brushing using a soft toothbrush.

Additional Tips for Retainer Cleaning

It’s important to avoid using cleaners that contain Lysol or alcohol because they can damage your retainer. You should be able to quickly check the ingredients by reading the product label.

If you decide to make a homemade solution, you’ll automatically know that the solution doesn’t contain these ingredients.

A huge mistake that a lot of people make is using bleach to wash their retainer. If even a tiny amount of bleach is swallowed, it can make you extremely sick, so it’s best to stay away from it completely.

How to Make A Retainer Smell Better

Maybe you’ve noticed that your retainer doesn’t smell so hot and don’t know what to do about it. If you want a clean smell and don’t want to use chemicals, you can achieve a similar clean smell using castile soap.

Just add one to two small squirts of castile soap into the container that you use to soak your retainer.

Since the main ingredients in castile soap are coconut oil and olive oil, it will make your retainer smell much better. You also don’t have to worry about exposing your retainer to unwanted chemicals.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, make sure to never wash your retainer in boiling water or dishwashers.

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