How to Clean Clear Retainers with 6 Easy Ways

When trying to get your teeth into better positions, it is important to wear retainers for a while. Many people do not know that their teeth are not fixed in place in the jaw. The truth is that your teeth can actually move around, and that is the reason why it is possible for orthodontists to tweak the shape of your teeth a bit. You are going to spend a good deal of money to get your teeth perfectly aligned, but you will lose all the money and effort if you do not wear a retainer, which helps keep your teeth from drifting out that perfect alignment. Not only do you need to wear it properly, you also need to know how to clean retainers in the right way.

How to Clean Clear Retainers

A retainer helps keep your recently aligned teeth in place. Properly cleaning your retainers can help to avoid dealing with any oral hygiene problems. Here are some simple ways to keep your retainer clean and undamaged.

1. Use a Soft Brush

Pay special attention to the quality of your toothbrush. It should be soft enough to clean your retainer without putting any stress on it.

  • Be sure to get your retainer out and soak it in warm water before you start brushing.
  • Now, scrub it gently and make use of a mild soap if necessary to remove the dirt. Brush the outside as well as the inside of the retainer.
  • Rinse it again under warm water before putting it back in your mouth.

2. Use Denture Cleaner

It is quite simple to learn how to clean clear retainers using denture cleaner. You can find them over the counter at pharmacies and drug stores in liquid, cream, tablet, or powder form. These cleaners really help remove visible dirt and keep your dentures undamaged. Just do not overdo and avoid using denture cleaner too often to prevent any damage. Here is how to proceed:

  • Take a shallow cup and fill it up with denture cleaner. Place your retainer in it – make sure it submerges in the cleaner completely.
  • Leave your retainer in the liquid for 20 minutes – or check the packaging for how long you should let your retainer soak in it.
  • Now, take your retainer out and put it in a cup of non-alcoholic mouthwash for at least half an hour. It is better to soak it longer. Do not use alcoholic mouthwash because it can damage the plastic mold of your retainer.
  • Take the retainer out and rinse it thoroughly before putting it back in your mouth.

3. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda also works great to clean your retainer. Baking soda is acidic and can increase the pH levels in your mouth. It also works great to get rid of any bacteria lodged in retainers. Here is the procedure to follow:

  • Take equal parts of baking soda and distilled water and mix well to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on your retainer with the help of a toothbrush. Be sure to apply the paste thoroughly as if you are using the real toothpaste to clean your teeth.
  • Rinse the paste off after some time to have a cleaner retainer.

4. Use a Vinegar Solution

Just like baking soda, vinegar is acidic and creates an acidic environment in your mouth, which makes it difficult for bacteria to survive. Here is how to clean clear retainers with vinegar:

  • Start by rinsing of your retainer with cold or warm water.
  • Take a shallow cup, put some water in it, and then add vinegar.
  • Ensure that your retainer is fully submerged in the vinegar solution.
  • Get your retainer out after 5 minutes and then scrub it gently with the help of your regular toothbrush. Do not forget to scrub thoroughly, including all the nooks and crannies.
  • Rinse it with warm water again before putting it back in your mouth.

5. Use Some Castile Soap

Using castile soap is a good idea because it is gentler than other types of soaps. Clean your retainers in the following way:

  • Make a solution by dissolving a bit of liquid soap in warm water.
  • Soak your retainer in this solution and then use your regular toothbrush to clean it gently.
  • Rinse it off while removing the excess solution with the help of your toothbrush.

6. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

You can make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to help clean your retainers properly. Hydrogen peroxide works great to kill bacteria. Here is the procedure:

  • Make a solution by mixing equal amounts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and warm tap water.
  • Soap your retainer in this solution for half an hour.
  • Take it out and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

Things to Avoid

When learning how to clean clear retainers, you need to keep a few important points in mind to avoid dealing with any problem. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Do not use dishwashers to clean your retainer. They can be very harsh and have a strong smell as well. Similarly, you should never use boiling water, cleansers, bleach, and alcoholic mouthwashes to clean your retainer.
  • Never apply toothpaste on your retainer. Your toothpaste is not effective on your retainers because they are not of the same material as your teeth are. Toothpaste may leave micro scratches in the material, which provide a perfect breeding place for bacteria.
  • Never leave your retainer out on the nightstand, especially if you have pets in your home. Moreover, you should not leave your appliance unattended when you have young children at home. Keep it in its case when not in use or soak it in a cleaning solution. 
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