How to Clean My Retainers the Easy Way | Wired Orthodontics
How to Clean My Retainers

How to Clean My Retainers

This time in the blog, we’ll look at “How to clean my retainers.”

After you complete orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign, it’s necessary to wear a retainer. After treatment, teeth are still prone to shifting, and it takes time for their positions to become permanent. By wearing a retainer, you can make sure your teeth stay put and your smile looks fantastic.

Most often, people will wear a removable retainer, but there are also permanent ones that remain fixed inside the mouth. Notably, the type of retainer and the length of time you need to wear it varies by individual. So, Dr. Nalbandian will give you his recommendation.

Just as with Invisalign or braces, it’s essential to keep your appliances clean. Otherwise, a coating of bacteria and yeast will form, contributing to possible periodontal disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

If your retainer becomes lost, scratched, or damaged, please contact us for a replacement immediately. Similarly, if your retainer requires adjustment, call us at (647) 578-7823 and please, never try to adjust it yourself.

How to Clean My Retainers

Removable retainers are much like wearing Invisalign aligners. Thus, Invisalign patients will usually already be familiar and comfortable with wearing their retainers.

Likewise, whenever you eat, drink, or brush your teeth, you will take out the retainers, just like Invisalign. Removable retainers may be clear plastic or acrylic with a wire. (Hawley) 

Removable retainers are simple to keep clean, like Invisalign. Moreover, they are also somewhat delicate and can warp if you let them touch hot water or beverages. Therefore, keep your retainer away from all hot temperatures, including hot car windshields, microwaves, or dishwashers.

Next, here are the simple steps of “how to clean my retainers.”

Tap Water (Never Hot) and Clear Liquid Soap

As noted, cleaning your retainer or aligner is a simple process. 

What you’ll need:

  • A soft toothbrush reserved for cleaning your retainer
  • Tap water access to rinse your retainer
  • Clear liquid soap (or toothpaste) 

Every time you brush, you’ll take out your retainer. Then, using a soft toothbrush reserved for this purpose, brush your retainer using clear liquid soap. Antibacterial liquid soap is a good idea, but try to avoid colorful soaps that can stain your clear retainers.

Under the tap, use lukewarm or cool water. That’s it!

If you don’t have liquid soap, toothpaste will work. However, it’s more abrasive and may scuff up the surfaces of clear retainers.

If possible, you may want to invest in:

  • A travel-sized soft toothbrush
  • Travel-size bottle of clear liquid soap

Then, while you are on the go, you can use your travel-sized items to clean your retainer when you get the chance.

Retainer Cleaning Products 

Wired Orthodontics will be happy to recommend our favorite cleaning products for your retainer. Notably, there are many products available today. Keep in mind; you will want to avoid denture cleaning products, which, like toothpaste, can be abrasive on retainers or aligners.

Products used for soaking your retainer generally require only 5-10 minutes. After following the manufacturer’s recommendations, take out the retainer and rinse it off. Then, begin wearing it again since it’s best to keep it in your mouth as much as you can.

If a retainer cleaning product isn’t available, a dilute water and mouthwash solution will suffice for a brief soaking. For example, Healthline suggests a half-water, half-mouthwash solution. However, be sure to choose a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol, which can damage retainers.

Use Your Retainer Case

Whenever your retainer comes out, please place it in your protective retainer case. By doing so, you will help:

  • Keep your retainer clean
  • Protect the retainer from damage
  • Keep curious pets from chewing it
  • Get in a habit, so you don’t lose the retainer

Often, people place their retainer on a napkin while they eat. Then, it’s very easy to lose the retainer, requiring an expensive replacement. Instead, try always to put your retainer in the case and then put it where you will not leave it behind.

Once daily, rinse your retainer case with warm, soapy water and pat it dry with a towel.

How to Clean My (Permanent) Retainers

In some cases, people will have permanent retainers that remain fixed in their mouths. Then, they will need to clean the retainer wire using a special dental floss like Super Floss. 

Similar to cleaning braces, you’ll use a floss threader to insert the floss between the tooth and around the retainer wire. Then, with a gentle back and forth motion, you will work the floss around each tooth.

As always, we will discuss our cleaning recommendations at your appointment. 

We hope this information about “How to clean my retainers” is helpful. Wired Orthodontics will be happy to discuss cleaning and the products we recommend with you at your appointment. 

Dr. Nalbandian and the team at Wired Orthodontics are experts in orthodontic treatment for all ages. We are happy to answer any questions about retainers, braces, clear braces, Invisalign, or Invisalign Teen in Toronto, ON, Scarborough, ON, North York, ON, or Markham, ON.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nalbandian, please contact Wired Orthodontics at (647) 578-7823 or (647) 344-WIRE.

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