How to Clean a Retainer

Clean a Retainer

Braces are off, and your teeth look amazing! All those years of metal wires and sore teeth were worth it to give you that stellar smile that is now YOURS. Free at last, mostly. One thing you will now find as a new part of your routine is a retainer. After braces are removed, a retainer is an orthodontic piece, custom fit to your new smile, which helps to minimize any movement of teeth. But with a retainer comes a different level of dental maintenance, which includes knowing how to clean a retainer.

Like anything else that is used or worn daily, a retainer will also show wear and tear. Since it is in your mouth most of the time, you can imagine it is going to collect bacteria, tartar, and plaque just like your teeth. Your job is to minimize that with proper care. Just how do you clean a retainer?


Upon removal gently, quickly brush the retainer with a soft toothbrush or dental brush. Don’t wait and let your retainer dry before cleaning it or the various plaque, bacteria and tartar will build up and cause more issues. Use water or a mild dish soap; toothpaste will scratch the finish. You can also use a cotton swab to clean down into the deepest parts if needed.


To ensure nothing is missed and to aid in any new bacteria buildup, soak your retainer daily in an anti-bacterial denture or retainer cleaner, such as Polident or Efferdent.


Make sure you are still routinely visiting your orthodontist so he can check your retainer for proper fit and also correct cleaning. If some problems areas are starting to see the mineral build up, he may be able to use a professional cleaner to help.


Daily maintenance of your retainer, just like your teeth, will help it last longer! Make these simple steps a part of your routine, and you will keep that retainer, and your fabulous smile, in perfect condition.


Need help with your retainer or some more insight on how to better clean a retainer? Call us at 847-831-1100.

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