How to Clean Invisalign Retainers? Complete Guide

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers? Complete Guide

Some people don’t think twice before smiling for photos. They have picture-perfect teeth. But you’re not far from that day either. You’ve already started your Invisalign treatment. In due time, you’ll have that photo-ready smile too. But first, you must care for your Invisalign retainers.

If you don’t keep them clean, you’ll face the heavy cost of replacements. Unclean retainers can slow down the process and negatively affect your teeth. Stained retainers also lose their invisibility, which defeats their purpose.

So, bookmark this guide and refer to it often to ensure your aligners are well cared for.

Why You Need to Clean Your Invisalign Retainers

Invisalign allows you to remove the retainers while eating or drinking. Many people think that because they don’t eat with the retainers on, cleaning isn’t necessary. But this is not true.

Your retainers sit in your mouth. Like your teeth, they’re prone to plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup. Just as you clean your teeth every day, you need to clean your retainers too.

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Steps to Clean Your Invisalign Retainers

Rinse Regularly

Whenever you remove your Invisalign aligners, rinse them under cold water. If you’re removing them to eat or drink (except for water), brush and floss before putting them back in. Remember, hot water can warp the trays.

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Brush Gently

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water to brush your retainers inside and out. Brush gently to avoid scratching the surface. This helps remove any buildup and keeps them clear.

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Use Clear, Antibacterial Soap

Clear, antibacterial soap can help remove harmful bacteria from your retainers. Avoid coloured soaps as they can stain your aligners. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soap residue.

Soak Daily

Soak your retainers daily in a denture cleaner or Invisalign’s cleaning crystals. Avoid mouthwash, hot water, toothpaste, and other cleaning chemicals, as they can damage the trays. A daily soak helps dissolve any buildup.

Vinegar and Water Solution

If you notice plaque or debris in your retainers, use a vinegar and water solution. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then soak your retainers for about 30 minutes. This helps dissolve any buildup.

Use Retainer Cleaning Tablets

Solutions like Retainer Brite are useful. They work like denture cleaners but are specifically made for retainers. These solutions don’t damage the retainer plastic. Follow the instructions on the package carefully.

Use Invisalign Retainer Cleaning Sprays

Products like Smile Saver Spray promise to remove 99% of odour-causing bacteria. Spray the solution on your Invisalign tray and hold it for 60 seconds. There’s no need to rinse before putting the retainers back on.

Cotton Swabs for Deep Cleaning

If you see deposits in the deep grooves or ridges of your clear retainers, use cotton swabs to remove them. This helps keep your retainers completely clean and free from buildup.

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Additional Tips for Retainer Care

Always Use the Case

When you’re not wearing your Invisalign clear braces or retainers, store them in a case. This protects them from germs in the air and prevents breakages.

Never Eat While Wearing Them

Eating with your Invisalign clear braces or retainers can cause them to crack, discolour, or break. It can also lead to injuries and plaque buildup. Always remove them before eating.

Wear Them as Directed

Follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how long to wear your aligners or retainers each day. If you don’t wear them as directed, your teeth may move out of position, undoing your progress.

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Clean Your Retainer Case

Clean your retainer case once a day. Gently scrub it with soap and warm water, then rinse and pat it dry. This keeps your case free from bacteria and germs.

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Avoid Harmful Quick Fixes

Never use abrasive toothpaste. Also, don’t use denture cleaners, regular mouthwash, alcohol, or bleach to clean your retainers. These can damage the plastic, causing scratches, dullness, or stains. Also, avoid boiling water or dishwashers as they can warp and damage your retainers.

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Common Questions About Cleaning Invisalign Retainers

How Often Should I Clean My Retainers?

Clean your retainers every day, just as you do your teeth. Regular cleaning prevents plaque and bacteria buildup.

Can I Use Regular Toothpaste?

Avoid regular toothpaste, especially those with whitening agents. They can be too abrasive and scratch your retainers.

What If My Retainers Get Stained?

If your retainers get stained, soak them in a vinegar and water solution or use a retainer cleaning tablet. Avoid using coloured mouthwash or other staining agents.