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How to Clean Invisalign Retainers? Complete Information

Invisalign retainers

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers? Complete Information

Invisalign retainers are a fantastic way to achieve a picture-perfect smile. However, keeping them clean is essential to ensure they remain invisible and effective. This guide will provide you with all the tips, tricks, and techniques you need to maintain your Invisalign retainers in top condition.

Why Clean Your Invisalign Retainers?

Invisalign retainers spend a lot of time in your mouth, so they can easily accumulate plaque, tartar, and bacteria. Cleaning them regularly prevents staining, maintains their invisibility, and ensures they continue to function effectively. Neglecting to clean your retainers can lead to longer treatment times and additional costs for replacements.

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Daily Cleaning Routine

Step 1: Rinse Regularly

Every time you remove your retainers, give them a rinse under lukewarm water. This helps remove saliva and prevent the buildup of bacteria. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the plastic and ruin the fit.

Step 2: Brush Gently

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water to gently brush your retainers. Brush both the inside and outside surfaces, just as you do with your teeth. Avoid using toothpaste, as it can be abrasive and cause scratches. Clear antibacterial soap is a good alternative to toothpaste for a gentle yet effective clean.

Step 3: Soak Daily

Soak your retainers daily in a cleaning solution designed for Invisalign retainers or a denture cleaner. This helps to deep clean and disinfect them. Follow the instructions on the cleaning solution’s package for the correct soaking time. Avoid using mouthwash, as it can stain the retainers.

Deep Cleaning Methods

For a more thorough clean, consider these methods:

Vinegar and Water Solution

Mix equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water. Soak your retainers in this solution for 15-30 minutes. The vinegar helps dissolve plaque and tartar. After soaking, gently brush the retainers with a soft toothbrush and rinse them thoroughly.

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Retainer Cleaning Sprays

Products like Smile Saver Spray™ can be used to remove bacteria and odour from your retainers. Spray the solution onto your retainers and let it sit for about 60 seconds. No need to rinse before putting them back in.

What Not to Do

Avoid these common mistakes to keep your retainers in good shape:

  • No Hot Water: Never use hot or boiling water to clean your retainers. It can distort their shape and make them unwearable.
  • Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste and other abrasive cleaning agents can scratch the surface of your retainers, making them more noticeable.
  • No Alcohol or Bleach: Don’t soak your retainers in alcohol or bleach. These harsh chemicals can damage the plastic.
  • Skip the Dishwasher: Dishwashers can melt or distort retainers due to the high heat and strong detergents.

Additional Tips for Retainer Care

Use a Proper Case

Always store your retainers in a proper case when not in use. This protects them from germs and prevents accidental damage. Avoid wrapping them in tissues or napkins, as this can lead to scratches or even losing them.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is crucial. Brush and floss your teeth after every meal before putting your retainers back in. This prevents food particles from getting trapped between your teeth and the retainers.

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Regular Inspections

Inspect your retainers regularly for any signs of damage or buildup. If you notice any issues, contact your orthodontist for advice. Prompt attention can prevent further damage and ensure your treatment stays on track.

Replace When Necessary

Retainers wear out over time. If they become discoloured, warped, or don’t fit properly, it’s time for a replacement. Regular maintenance can extend their life, but replacements are inevitable for effective treatment.


Keeping your Invisalign retainers clean is essential for a successful treatment and a beautiful smile. By following these simple steps and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure your retainers stay invisible and effective. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and good oral hygiene practices will keep your smile on track and your retainers in top condition. Remember, a little care goes a long way in maintaining your investment in a perfect smile.

Take the Next Step with Moston Dental Practice

Ready to perfect your smile with Invisalign? At Moston Dental Practice, our experienced team, including our NHS dentist in Manchester, is here to guide you through every step of your treatment. Book a consultation today and let us help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us now to get started!

Frequently Asked Question

Can I use toothpaste to clean my retainers?

No, avoid using toothpaste as it can be abrasive and scratch your retainers. Instead, use clear antibacterial soap or a designated retainer cleaning solution.

What should I avoid when cleaning retainers?

Avoid hot water, abrasive toothpaste, alcohol, bleach, and dishwashers. These can damage, warp, or stain your retainers.

How can I remove plaque from my retainers?

Soak your retainers in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water for 15-30 minutes. Gently brush and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Can I eat with my retainers in?

No, eating with retainers can cause them to crack, discolour, or build up plaque and bacteria. Always remove them before eating.

What do I do if my retainers get damaged?

If your retainers become damaged, discoloured, or don’t fit properly, contact your orthodontist immediately for a replacement. Regular maintenance helps, but replacements are sometimes necessary.