How to Clean Retainers For That Fresh Mouth Feeling

Retainers are becoming an increasingly popular orthodontic device for people looking to get their perfect smile. However, if you’re considering a retainer or have had one for a while, you might be wondering how to care for it properly. That’s why in this guide, we’ll be focusing on how to clean retainers to make sure you get that fresh mouth feeling every time you put yours on.

Why You Should Clean Your Retainer

Your mouth is home to a wide variety of friendly bacteria that contribute to the overall ecosystem of your mouth. However, you’re probably familiar with the bad breath and general “ickiness” that comes if you haven’t brushed your teeth for a while. This is because those bacteria feed on the leftover food particles in your mouth and produce waste just like any other organism. The saliva, food particles, and bacteria in your mouth form a sticky film called plaque that coats every surface in the mouth: the tongue, the teeth, gums, and of course, your retainer.

That’s why it’s so important to maintain good oral hygiene. And, of course, keep anything that goes into your mouth clean and sanitized. So, let’s get on to how to clean retainers.

How To Clean Retainers

How you clean a retainer depends entirely on what kind of retainer you have. The material it’s made out of will determine what cleaning method suits it best.

You might have a Hawley retainer, a tried-and-tested type of retainer that has been used for many decades. They’re made out of molded acrylic and have a wire to hold them in place when they’re in your mouth. Recently, though, clear plastic retainers have become more popular for their aesthetics, and you might hear them referred to as “aligners.”

Whichever removable retainer you have, they’re easy to remove from your mouth to clean daily. Here is what you should do to clean your retainer:

  • Rinse and clean your retainer immediately after you remove it from your mouth. This will help prevent food debris and plaque from hardening on the surface, which can make it more difficult to clean.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and warm water to brush the retainer, cleaning out any buildup or gunk. Don’t use toothpaste, as these can be abrasive and damage the retainer. You can add mild dish soap for a more thorough clean.
  • If necessary, you can use a cotton swab or Q-tip to clean the ridges and grooves of your retainer.
  • You can also use your retainer cleaning time as a cue to brush your teeth. This can help you maintain good oral hygiene.

Your dentist may also recommend using a retainer cleaner, depending on the kind of retainer you have.


We hope this article helps you keep your retainer in its best possible shape. If you have any questions about your retainer, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local dentist. They’ll be able to give you the best advice to care for your retainer based on your individual needs.

Luxe Dental Arts is your premier holistic dentistry in Sugar Land, TX, specializing in high-quality dentistry with a gentle touch. We use advanced, modern techniques to give you the best possible treatment. Give us a call at (281) 969-7456, and we’ll be happy to help with a VIP dental experience!



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