How to Clean Retainers The Right Way

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 Clear Retainers

Retainers serve as our loyal allies after braces, helping maintain the perfect alignment of our teeth. Yet, if overlooked, they can harbor unpleasant secrets like food debris, bacterial buildup, and the dreaded retainer breath. This blog post is your go-to resource for maintaining a confident smile and spotless retainers.

The Significance of Cleaning

Consider your retainers as little residences for microorganisms. If left unclean, these tiny troublemakers use them as breeding sites, which might result in:

Bad breath

Have you ever been puzzled why, after taking out your retainers, your breath seems to smell like an abandoned gym bag? Blame the bacteria party happening inside!


Bacterial accumulation and food particles cause ugly stains that turn your clear retainers into dull yellow ones.

Oral health problems

Unchecked bacteria can cause plaque to accumulate on your teeth, which can result in cavities or gingivitis.

Brushing Basics

Think of this as your daily regimen for a spa retainer:

Regularly clean your retainers

Ideally right after brushing your teeth—at least once a day. Before and after, give them a thorough rinse with lukewarm water.

The Appropriate Instruments

Give up using your standard toothbrush. Make use of a different soft-bristled toothbrush that is intended only for your retainers. The plastic may get scratched by sharp bristles.

Soap Selection

Choose a soap instead of expensive toothpaste! Use toothpaste designed especially for retainers or a mild, fragrance-free dish soap. Abrasives found in regular toothpaste can harm the surface.

Gently Scrubbing

Give your retainers a little brushing on both the inside and outside surfaces, giving close attention to any spots where food particles like to hide (think grooves and clasps).

Weekly Deep Cleanse

Consider this to be a spa weekend for your retainer:

Soaking Fixes

Use a soak to give your retainers a more thorough cleaning once a week. Popular choices include of:

Clear Retainer Cleaner

These tablets efficiently eliminate stains and smells and are made especially for clear plastic retainers.

Water Diluted White Vinegar

A pocket-friendly alternative. Soak for fifteen minutes at most, as vinegar might cause the plastic to deteriorate.

Mouthwash Rinse

Soak for 30 minutes after diluting mouthwash with water. To prevent the retainers from drying out, choose an alcohol-free variant.

Rinsing retainers with Mouthwash
Woman Rinsing retainers with Mouthwash

Rinse and Dry

After soaking, give your retainers a thorough water rinse, then use a fresh cloth to pat them dry. Don't ever keep them damp! Wetness produces a banquet of bacteria.


Recall that consistency is essential! You can keep your retainers fresh, clean, and functional for keeping your gorgeous smile by adding these easy steps into your daily regimen. Now, set forth to conquer the world while sporting a smile so radiant that it needs sunglasses!


How frequently should I clean my retainers?

Ideally just after cleaning your teeth, but at least once a day.

What kind of brush ought I to use?

Use a different toothbrush with soft bristles that is only for cleaning your retainers.

What kind of soap is suitable for cleaning retainers?

Toothpaste designed especially for retainers or mild, fragrance-free dish soap are suitable choices. Abrasives in normal toothpaste should be avoided.

Does my retainer need to soak overnight?

Soaking your retainer overnight is generally not advised because prolonged exposure to cleaning chemicals might cause damage to some materials. Instead, follow the cleaning product's instructions and choose shorter soaking times.

If I haven't worn my retainer in a long time, should I clean it?

Yes, even if you haven't used your retainer in a while, it is still necessary to clean it. It's advisable to give it a thorough cleaning before wearing it again because bacteria can still build up on the surface.