After receiving orthodontic treatment, oftentimes patients receive retainers that work to keep teeth in their correct, newly shifted into places. Because these retainers are put into a place like your mouth that has bacteria swirling in it, and then because retainers are taken out and placed elsewhere, they are often exposed to dirt, grime, dust, and bacteria that need to swiftly be cleaned in order to maintain the oral health and integrity of your mouth. There are more than one way to clean a retainer but we want to focus on the best, most effective way to. Here’s how to thoroughly clean a retainer.

Similar to aligners, retainers have the ability of being removed when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth. In some cases though, you may have a permanent retainer that is never removed from the mouth and is instead anchored to your teeth. First, keep in mind that you need to consider the material of your retainer when deciding to clean it. For example, some materials, such as Invisalign or other plastic retainer, are susceptible to hot water and can warp if thrown in the dishwasher, a microwave or if left in the hot sun.

Every time that you brush your teeth you will have to remove your retainer. While you’re already in the process of cleaning, you should clean your retainer with a soft brush (such as an old toothbrush) and you should scrub the device with clear, antibacterial soap while rinsing the retainer in lukewarm water. Always remember to brush it completely on both sides and on the bar. Using your hands, gently wash away the sudsy soap complete until a sparkling, germ free retainer is left in your hands!


If you have questions, concerns, or difficulty cleaning your retainer, talk with the orthodontists at Burke and Beckstrom to discover the best methods, tricks, and tips today!