Home Health How to Properly Clean Your Retainers – 2024 Guide

How to Properly Clean Your Retainers – 2024 Guide

by Skopje Macedonsko

If you ask anyone out there about whether or not they brush their teeth every day, most of them will tell you that they do and that they would never consider not brushing them for several days. After all, keeping your teeth healthy is one of the most important things you could do, especially since if you don’t, it could lead to a wide range of illnesses that aren’t connected with your teeth.

However, a lot of people that wear retainers don’t wash them frequently, which is a really big mistake since the identical bacteria that form in your teeth can and probably will occur on your braces as well. Hence, if you place them in your mouth, you’ll be applying the same germs to your gums and teeth.

If you recently started wearing retainers or if you simply want to learn how to take care of them in the right way, the article below will be able to shed some light on the entire topic. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top tips and methods for properly sanitizing your braces:

The Clues That Indicate That Your Retainers Need Cleaning

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Before we look at the methods for washing your braces, you must first learn when you should wash them. Generally speaking, you should gently brush them off each time you’re brushing your teeth, and once in 7 days, you must entirely and extensively cleanse them. The most common signs that indicate that you must take care of it are:

  1. If it tastes or smells bad,
  2. If a film appeared on them,
  3. If it looks murky,
  4. If you haven’t cleaned it for more than 7 days,
  5. If there are white dots on it.

If you noticed that there are white dots on it, it can indicate a mineral build-up, plaque that has been causing your teeth to go bad, or a combination of all of these things. Additionally, if it keeps splitting or breaking, you should wash it, especially since the germs that damage your teeth could also do some damage to the braces. So, how should you clean it?

1. Use Water For Quickly Washing it

You should know that water won’t clean it perfectly, however, if you consume a lot of water throughout the day, you’ll be able to prevent bacteria from growing and building up. Additionally, by doing this, you’ll be capable of keeping your teeth healthy as well, especially since water will aid you with dealing with a dry mouth that is connected to cavities.

Keep in mind, sugary beverages will influence the form of the braces, and they’ll also affect your teeth, hence, don’t consume these drinks in order to keep dry mouth away. Nonetheless, if you’re planning on consuming these drinks, you might want to take the retainers off since soda and sugar will do the same damage to it as they will to your teeth.

2. Use Toothpaste

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While you’re brushing, you should also brush the braces too. According to the experts from SportingSmiles.com, it’s best to utilize a soft brush and a toothpaste that doesn’t have whitening properties. After you’re done, you’ll want to remove it and rinse it entirely. Once you remove it, you might want to brush your teeth again to ensure that they remain healthy.

3. You Could Use a Denture Solution

Now, keep in mind, this isn’t something that you should do often, however, if there aren’t any other alternatives available, it’s okay to do so. To wash it, you should rinse it first and then dip it into the solution for approximately twenty minutes. After you take it out, you need to scrub it with some toothpaste.

4. It’s Safe to Utilize Baking Soda

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Baking soda is, perhaps, the safest disinfectant that you can find on the market and it may help you whiten the item if it got yellow over time. By applying baking soda to it, it’ll manage the bacteria without the need to use harmful chemicals, and it’ll also hinder the braces from making pH irregularities that could influence the health of your mouth.

To use this method, you’ll want to form a mixture/paste that is half baking soda and half water. You need to ensure that it’s thick enough so that it’ll stick to the retainer. Once you apply it, you should rub it in the same way as you would if you applied toothpaste. If there is any residue left, rinse it.

5. Vinegar is an Alternative Too

If you’re looking for a mild disinfectant that could eliminate debris and smells, white vinegar should be your go-to product. To wash your braces with it, you should create a mixture in a bowl that is half lukewarm water and half vinegar. Once you’re done making the mix, soak it for fifteen minutes.

If there are mineral deposits on the item, you could utilize a toothbrush in order to scrub it entirely and after you’re done, you’ll want to wash it with cold water and leave it soaking in cold water for another 15 to 20 minutes. After all, vinegar does have a powerful smell and taste, hence, if you want to avoid it smelling or tasting like vinegar, you must ensure that you follow all of the steps we mentioned in this paragraph.

6. You Can Purchase a Retainer Sanitation Solution

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Last on the list, but not least significant is the fact that some companies offer retainer cleaning solutions. So, if you don’t have time, nor the will to make your homemade cleanser, such products might be beneficial – and affordable – for you. If you choose this option, ensure that you follow the user’s manual on the pack.

Several types might require you to use a scrubbing machine, some might require you to leave it in the solution overnight, while others shouldn’t be used on specific braces types. Keep in mind, you should speak with your dentist and ask them about what solution they recommend to their clients.


If you want to keep your teeth healthy, you must ensure that you wash your braces frequently and properly. And, if you choose to follow some of the methods and tips we mentioned in the list above, you’ll be able to make the entire process easier, less time-consuming, and more importantly, you’ll ensure that you take care of them in the right way!

So, now that you’re aware of all the things you can and definitely should choose to do, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, you should go through this article one more time, determine which options might be the most suitable for you, and then clean your retainers properly!

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