How to Properly Clean Your Retainer

How to Properly Clean Your Retainer

Posted on May 3, 2023

How to Properly Clean Your Retainer

A retainer is a tool that can help you to keep your teeth straight after different orthodontic treatments. As you wear your retainer, it can be exposed to many elements, including germs, bacteria, and food particles. It can start to become slimy, stinky, and dirty if not properly cared for. According to Web MD, your retainer should be cleaned once a day to keep it fresh, clean, and sanitized. Here are a few tips from an orthodontist to help you properly clean your retainer.

Use a White Vinegar Soak for Cleaning

One of the best ways to sanitize your retainer is to let it soak in a solution of 50 percent warm water and 50 percent white vinegar. The retainer should soak for 15 to 20 minutes to kill germs and bacteria, eradicate smells, and get rid of any sliminess or film left behind on the retainer. One of the biggest misconceptions about retainers is that you should soak them in mouthwash or diluted rubbing alcohol. However, this can wear your retainer out and may cause it to crack. As such, you should stick to a white vinegar soak for routine cleaning.

Store It in Baking Soda When Not in Use

Another way that you can clean your retainer is to store it in a mixture of distilled water and two tablespoons of baking soda when you’re not wearing it. This will help to clean the retainer, as baking soda kills bacteria that thrive in an acidic environment. Additionally, baking soda is a natural deodorizer, so it can help to prevent your retainer from smelling.

Bring it To Your Orthodontist for Deep Cleaning

Lastly, if you find that your retainer has a film on it that you cannot remove, or it is starting to smell, you should bring it to your orthodontist. They have an ultrasonic cleaner that can clean your retainer, removing otherwise hard-to-remove build-up, films, and scents. If you experience regular issues keeping your retainer clean, your orthodontist may recommend using specially designed retainer cleansers or products.

If your teeth are not straight, there are many orthodontic devices that may be used to help straighten your teeth, including retainers, braces, and Invisalign. An orthodontist can work with you to determine the right treatment plan to leave you with straight and healthy teeth. If you’re looking for an orthodontist to help give you the smile you have always dreamed of, let us help. Call us now to schedule a consultation.

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