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What Can You Use To Clean Retainers

After finishing orthodontic treatment and removing braces or clear aligners, whether you had braces or clear aligners, you no longer have to deal with the inconveniences of ortho wax, aligner chewies, and aligner removal tools and all the other Invisalign accessories. There’s a final accessory you can’t overlook – your retainer. The progress gained toward straight teeth may revert over time. Fortunately, dental retainers come into play to protect the results and prevent undesirable shifting. Retainers are essential for keeping teeth aligned, and there are three varieties available: permanent, transparent plastic, and Hawley retainers. It’s not just about wearing them; keeping retainers clean is critical for proper oral hygiene and avoiding tooth problems. Regular cleaning helps to eradicate harmful germs, biofilm accumulation, bad breath, stains, and extends the life of the retainer. Let’s look at the importance of retainer hygiene and appropriate cleaning procedures for a healthy mouth and a confident smile!

What Are Retainers

After you complete orthodontic treatment and remove your braces or clear aligners, your teeth may begin to shift back to their original positions over time, reversing the gains you achieved during treatment. But don’t worry, retainers are here to help! Wearing a retainer is critical for preserving the effects of your orthodontic treatment. It helps to retain your teeth in their new, straight places by preventing undesired movement.

Retainers are classified into three types:

  1. Permanent Retainers: These are non-removable retainers made of a wire that is glued to the back of your teeth. They are long-lasting and virtually undetectable. However, they may be less comfortable for some persons than other forms of retainers. Brush and floss them on a regular basis to maintain teeth clean and avoid tartar and plaque accumulation.
  2. Transparent Plastic Retainers: Clear plastic retainers, like as Essix, Vivera, and Zendura, are thin, transparent, and nearly undetectable. They are as comfortable as transparent aligners and fit over your teeth like a shell. However, you must be cautious when cleaning them since they can gather germs and plaque if not cleaned on a regular basis.
  3. Hawley Retainers: This is the most common form of retainer. They are made out of an acrylic piece that sits in your mouth’s roof or floor, with a wire going across the front of your teeth. They are long-lasting and reasonably priced. They may be cleaned using a toothbrush and toothpaste. However, they are less comfortable for certain people and contain a visible metal wire.

Why Is It Important to Clean Retainers

Keeping your retainer clean is critical for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and avoiding dental issues. Here’s why it has to be cleaned on a regular basis:

  1. Germs and Plaque: Retainers, like teeth, can acquire germs and plaque if not cleaned correctly. These can lead to foul breath, infections, and other difficulties with your dental health. Cleaning it on a regular basis aids in the removal of these dangerous microorganisms.
  2. 2. Biofilm Formation: When you wear retainers, bacteria can create a film on them, causing foul breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Regularly cleaning your aligners minimizes this accumulation and maintains your mouth healthy during orthodontic treatment.
  3. 3. Clean Breath: Bad breath might result from a filthy retainer. Cleaning it eliminates the odor-causing microorganisms and maintains the freshness of your breath.
  4. Retainer Preservation: Thorough cleaning keeps the retainer from deteriorating over time, extending its lifespan and delaying the need for a replacement one.
  5. Avoiding Stains: Some meals and lifestyle choices might leave stains on the retainer. These stains may be removed with routine cleaning, keeping your retainer appearing tidy.
  6. Reducing diseases: Oral diseases such gum problems can be brought on by dirty retainers. Its appropriate cleaning reduces the likelihood of these diseases occurring and benefits your dental health as a whole.
  7. Preventing the Spread of Germs: If your retainer isn’t cleaned, it could become a haven for dangerous bacteria. Wearing it without cleaning it could potentially lead to infections or other issues by reintroducing these germs to your mouth.

So keep in mind to clean your retainer frequently to keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright!

How to Clean Retainers

Maintaining proper oral hygiene requires cleaning your retainers. You may employ a variety of techniques, but some are more effective than others. Let’s see how to clean retainers.

Fizzy 3-in-1 Foam Cleaner

The ideal retainer cleaner for quick and simple cleaning is Fizzy 3-in-1 foam cleaner. Any brand of clear aligners (Invisalign, Bite, Smile Direct Club, Candid, etc.), retainers (Essix retainers/clear retainers, Hawley retainers), dental night guards, sports mouthguards, and dentures may be cleaned using the foam retainer cleaner. For those with sensitive gums, Fizzy retainer cleaner is ideal because it is free of alcohol, parabens, fluoride, hydrogen peroxide, and artificial colors. Your mouth guard, clear aligners, retainers, and dentures may all be rinsed without using water. Simply pump some foam over your retainer, let it sit for a while, and then rinse with water. Use a soft bristle brush to carefully scrub every crevice and detail for deeper cleaning. It can be also used as a mouthwash, breath freshener and foam toothpaste. Since it’s also TSA compliant and travel friendly, it’s the perfect retainer cleaner for on-the-go and at home use.

Solution for Cleaning Dentures:

To clean retainers, some orthodontists suggest using denture cleanser pills or solutions. Warm water should be put in a tidy container. Drop a tablet for dentures into the water. Cleaning agents will start to discharge as it starts to bubble. Make sure your retainers are completely submerged in the denture tablet solution and water when you place them in the container. The suggested soak time for retainers is often between 15 and 30 minutes. After soaking, remove the retainers and thoroughly rinse them under running water to get rid of any leftovers.

Baking Soda

For cleaning retainers, baking soda is a secure alternative, although it might not be as efficient as specialist cleaning chemicals for difficult stains or thorough cleaning. Here is a quick instruction on how to clean your aligners using baking soda:

  1. Prepare a paste of baking soda: To produce a paste, combine a little water and baking soda. The paste shouldn’t be too runny, but it should be thick enough to spread readily.
  1. Gently brush the aligners: Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush or a toothbrush designed for cleaning aligners in the baking soda paste. Brush the aligners gently, being sure to cover the inside and outside of each one.
  2. Rinse: After brushing with the baking soda paste, completely rinse the aligners in water. Before placing the aligners back in your mouth, make sure they are free of any baking soda residue.
  3. Don’t scrape the retainers too hard, even though baking soda is often mild. This will help prevent any possible material damage.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Retainers may be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, but you must exercise caution and adhere to a few key rules:

  1. Proper Diluting: Mix hydrogen peroxide with water before using it to clean your aligners. One component hydrogen peroxide to three parts water is a frequent guideline. This weakens it and lessens the possibility of any issues.
  2. Limit Exposure Time: Avoid submerging your aligners in hydrogen peroxide for an extended period of time. The aligner material may become weakened or damaged over time. For cleaning, a brief soak or rinse usually suffices. Always stick to the schedule suggested by your braces or orthodontic professional.
  3. Thoroughly rinse: After cleaning with hydrogen peroxide, thoroughly rinse your aligners with water. This ensures that no hydrogen peroxide remains on them before reintroducing them into your mouth.
  4. Avoid Excessive Use: While hydrogen peroxide can help eliminate germs and stains, it should not be used excessively. Excessive use might cause the aligners to become brittle or deteriorate over time.


Retainers are essential for keeping teeth aligned following orthodontic treatment. Permanent, clear plastic, and Hawley retainers are the three basic varieties. Cleaning retainers on a regular basis is vital for maintaining excellent oral health and avoiding dental problems. It aids with the removal of germs, biofilm buildup, bad breath, and stains while retaining the efficacy of the retainer. Avoiding dirty retainers helps to keep hazardous bacteria and diseases at bay. Denture pills, Fizzy 3-in-1 foam cleanser, baking soda, and diluted hydrogen peroxide are other cleaning options.

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