The Secret to Keeping Retainers Clean and Clear

The pandemic has ignited a heightened appetite for deep cleaning and disinfection. To keep families, friends, pets, and homes safe, we diligently wash our hands and sanitize every surface with EPA-approved products. Similarly, in our quest for glowing skin, many of us subscribe to a rigorous routine to keep acne, blackheads, wrinkles, and impurities from rising to the surface.

Your clear retainers require the same ‘glow up’ as your surfaces and your skin! Proper cleaning of these appliances is critical to keep plaque accumulation at bay and beautiful smiles in alignment.  

Here’s a Few Strategies to Clean Your Clear Retainers with Confidence

  • Remove and rinse your retainers in cool water, as soon as possible. This helps prevent harmful debris from drying, hardening, and crusting on your retainer. This gunk is difficult to remove so you don’t want to miss this step – trust us!
  • Next, carefully brush your retainers 1-3 times a day with two drops of unscented castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is our favorite!) and a soft bristle toothbrush, then rinse with cool water. It’s important to scrub in a circular motion (concentrating on cleaning the inside surfaces) to ensure your retainers are crystal clear and plaque-free. While it might be tempting to clean your retainer with toothpaste, we urge you not to fall into this trap. Toothpaste is incredibly abrasive and can scratch/damage your retainers.
  • Struggling to clean grooves and ridges? Dipping a Q-Tip in castile soap does the trick.
  • At least once a week, we recommend soaking your retainers in cool water with the same castile soap you use for your daily cleaning, a retainer cleaning tablet, or white vinegar for at least 30 minutes. From there, carefully brush and rinse the retainer.
  • Never place retainers in hot water, the dishwasher, direct sunlight, or other high-temperature locations.
  • Make it a habit to remove your retainers while eating/drinking. Food and beverages that are caught under retainers can cause serious damage to your teeth and stain your retainers. For this reason, refrain from consuming anything but cool water with your retainers in place.
  • Don’t wrap your retainers in paper towels, or napkins or put them in your pocket. Always ensure they are safe in their case.
  • Finally, be sure to maintain regular cleanings with your general dentist, and bring your retainers along for the ride.

Ultimately, just as you’ve committed to keeping your home surfaces, skin, and teeth clean, it’s imperative to keep your retainers clear and sparkling. Failure to do so could result in harmful bacteria, plaque and/or tartar that pose a serious health risk to your immune system.

At Dr. Matt Orthodontics we are passionate about keeping your smile both beautiful and healthy. With proper retainer wear and a diligent cleaning routine, your smile will be sparkling!