Proper cleaning and storage of retainers at home: A guide

Retainers are commonly used among orthodontic patients to help maintain the desired alignment of their teeth, and according to a study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists in 2018, over 4 million people wear retainers.

Proper cleaning and storage of retainers is an important part of maintaining oral health and hygiene. This article provides readers with a comprehensive guide on how to properly clean and store retainers at home.

It will discuss different methods for cleaning, drying, storing, and caring for retainers after eating. Furthermore, this article will provide tips on how to keep your retainer clean every day.

Key Takeaways

– Regular cleaning with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild toothpaste is essential for maintaining oral health and hygiene of retainers.
– Sanitizing materials such as denture tablets or mouthwash can be used weekly to kill bacteria and keep retainers free of odors.
– Storing retainers in a protective case away from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight or moisture is important for maintaining their condition and longevity.
– Regular maintenance involves checking for signs of wear or damage and following recommended cleaning and storage techniques to preserve a retainer’s condition and effectiveness.

Cleaning Your Retainer

Regularly cleaning your retainer is essential to maintaining optimal oral hygiene and keeping your teeth healthy. To keep it in the best condition, brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild non-abrasive toothpaste should be done daily to remove plaque and food particles. Sanitizing materials such as denture tablets or mouthwash can also be used weekly for extra protection against bacteria buildup.

In addition, regular maintenance of the retainers should involve checking them for signs of wear or damage, which if detected would require replacing them altogether. Practicing good oral hygiene by regularly cleaning retainers can help individuals maintain their dental health long term.

Drying Your Retainer

Thoroughly drying a retainer after use is essential to maintain its hygiene and condition. A common mistake made by many people is storing their retainer without properly drying it, which can lead to bacterial buildup and other issues. The best way to dry a retainer is to brush it gently with a toothbrush using water or baking soda and then allow it to air-dry completely on a clean cloth or paper towel before placing it back in its case.

The following table outlines the brushing technique for proper drying:

Step Description Time Needed
1 Gently brush your retainer with running water or baking soda solution. This helps remove any visible particles that have accumulated during use. 2 minutes
2 Allow your retainer to air-dry completely on a clean cloth or paper towel before placing it back into the case. This prevents the growth of bacteria which can cause bad odors and discoloration of the appliance. 10 minutes

Storing Your Retainer

Storing your retainer correctly is akin to locking up a prized possession, ensuring it remains pristine and safe while not in use. It should be placed in a protective case when not in use and kept away from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight or moisture.

To ensure the retainer remains effective, regular check ups with an orthodontist are recommended as well as cleaning it regularly with approved sanitizing solutions. This helps to prevent bacteria from building up on the surface of the retainer which can lead to bad odors and promote dental diseases.

Additionally, storing retainers away from pets and children is essential for its longevity and safety. As such, it is important to keep retainers out of reach of other household members who may mishandle them or damage them unknowingly.

Cleaning and Storing Retainer After Eating

It is essential to remember to take out and rinse your retainer after eating to protect it from damage, prolong its life, and keep oral hygiene in check. Specifically, using a soft bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive cleaning agent such as mild soap or baking soda with lukewarm water is the best brushing technique. Additionally, an antimicrobial mouthwash can be used to further protect against bacteria that may build up on the retainer. After rinsing the retainer thoroughly, it should be placed back into its case and stored in a safe area away from pets or other objects that could cause harm or damage to it.

Brushing Technique Mouthwash Use
:—: :—:
Soft Bristled Toothbrush + Mild Soap/Baking Soda + Lukewarm Water Antimicrobial Mouthwash

Tips for Keeping Your Retainer Clean

Consistent maintenance of a retainer can help preserve its condition and effectiveness. To ensure the best results, it is important to employ proper brushing techniques and sanitizing solutions on a regular basis.

When cleaning a retainer, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with non-abrasive toothpaste or other recommended cleaning agents. This will prevent damaging the plastic material from which retainers are made. It is also advised to rinse your retainer with cool water before and after every use in order to remove food particles that may have accumulated on the surface.

Moreover, soaking retainers in special sanitizing solutions is highly recommended once per week to kill bacteria and keep them free of odors. Additionally, make sure that you store your retainer away from direct heat or sunlight as this could cause warping or discoloration of the material over time.

By following these simple tips for keeping your retainer clean, you can maintain its original shape and ensure maximum effectiveness when wearing it.


Retainers are essential for maintaining the desired shape of teeth, and proper cleaning and storage habits can help ensure that they remain in tip-top condition.

Regular cleaning before and after eating is necessary to remove bacteria, plaque, and food particles.

Drying the retainer with a soft cloth or tissue prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.

Retainers should be kept in a safe place when not in use; this could be a case or box.

Keeping them away from heat sources such as radiators also helps to prolong their lifespan.

Finally, it is important to remember that regular check-ups by an orthodontist are vital for ensuring retainer health remains optimal.

With these tips, individuals can keep their retainers clean and safe so they continue to function properly for years to come.

Thank you for spending some time out of your busy schedule to read on the topic of oral healthcare, with Dental Detective. It is our wish our page was helpful information in some way! Checkout for further information on benefiting your oral healthcare