The Best 4 Ways To Clean Your Retainer (No Harsh Chemicals Required)

Deciding how to clean your retainer is just as important, if not more so, as keeping it clean in the first place. Ingredients like hydrogen peroxide may beat the gunk and funk, but they can also wreck your oral microbiome. Read on to find out how to clean your retainer without harmful chemicals.

Updated on

If you or someone you know wears a retainer, you know they have an unfortunate way of attracting gunk and grime—and of smelling pretty horrible in the process.

Fizzy cleaners like Polident and Efferdent can certainly fight bacteria and funky smells. The problem is that they also make it easy for harmful chemicals to enter your mouth and wreck your oral microbiome.

But there is a better way to clean your retainer. And not only will it protect the beneficial bacteria in your mouth, but it will also protect this expensive piece of equipment that you may have to wear indefinitely.

Let’s take a look.

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers. If you use one of the links below and buy something, Ask the Dentist makes a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. I rigorously research, test, and use thousands of products every year, but recommend only a small fraction of these. I only promote products that I truly feel will be valuable to you in improving your oral health.

What You Use to Clean Your Retainer Does Matter

Retainers are made of porous materials that can absorb whatever you use to soak them in or clean them with. As a result, the cleaning product becomes part of the retainer, and it inevitably ends up in your mouth.

I used to recommend effervescent tablets for soaking retainers—that is, until I realized that this method can actually be toxic.

Persulfate is a known allergen used in most cleaning tablets—like Polident and Efferdent—that has been shown to cause allergic reactions and other symptoms in users.

In 2008 the FDA issued a warning about the use of cleaning solutions containing persulfate and recommended that users rinse their retainers and dentures thoroughly before inserting them into the mouth.

But as I mentioned, persulfate can leach into porous retainers, making them nearly impossible to rinse completely. It is for this reason, perhaps, that the FDA also suggested that consumers consider persulfate-free alternatives.

Perhaps you’ve considered switching to mouthwash to clean or soak your retainer. Mouthwash is certainly free of persulfate, but it’s still not a good option.


Most mouthwashes contain alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, both of which dry out retainers and your mouth at the same time. And dryness doesn’t just damage your retainer; it also causes bad breath and can lead to cavity formation.

How to Clean Your Retainer the Safe and Natural Way

Now that we’ve discussed the worst ways to clean retainers, let’s look at how to get them fresh and clean without any harmful ingredients.

Before we begin, I should mention that I am often asked how to clean different types of retainers. The good news is that whether you have clear retainers (like Invisalign or Essix), or a metal and acrylic version, the process for cleaning it is the same.

Cleaning Tips for Any Type of Retainer:

Always keep it moist. Retainers are made for a wet environment, and moving them from your mouth (a wet environment) to the bathroom counter (a dry environment) is a terrible idea that can age your retainer prematurely.

My best advice? Never let your retainer dry out, since that is what will cause tartar and biofilm to bond to it. Keep it in your mouth or submerged in liquids.

I suggest filling a stainless steel container with distilled water and some baking soda, or a squirt or two of castile soap. If you’re out of both, just plain distilled water works, too.

Using distilled water is important because the minerals in tap water can seed the formation of plaque (also called “calculus”) on your retainers.

Once a week, soak it in white vinegar. Each week, to ensure that your retainer is bacteria-free, soak it in white vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse and soak in distilled water as usual.

Don’t brush it. Brushing can gouge the material of your retainer, leaving space for bacteria to reside and multiply. Bacteria = dirty, so leave the brush for your teeth and stick to soaking.

Take it to your dentist. If your retainers need to be disinfected, or you feel like it has more buildup than normal, you should take them to your dentist. Your dentist has an ultrasonic cleaner and special cleaning solutions that can disinfect the retainers and remove any buildup without the use of toxic chemicals.

The Best Ingredients for Cleaning Your Retainer

As I mentioned previously, the best way to keep your retainer clean and moist is to keep in submerged in a soaking solution when it’s not in your mouth. Plain, distilled water is all you need, but the following tips can ramp up your bacteria-fighting efforts.

How to Clean Your Retainer with Baking Soda

Baking soda is not only the safest way to clean your retainer, but it also does a far better job than the retainer cleansers you will find at the supermarket. Here’s why:

Baking soda keeps bad bacteria at bay.

Baking soda can stabilize the pH of the mouth naturally, which keeps the bacteria that cause problems in the mouth at bay. Typically, the “bad guys” that cause trouble in the mouth thrive in a more acidic environment, and baking soda combats this problem by neutralizing the pH of the mouth and rebalancing the oral microbiome. Likewise, baking soda can also disinfect retainers by virtue of its higher pH.

Baking soda can help combat the stink commonly associated with retainers.

Retainers and other dental devices start to smell like rotten fruit after a while, and baking soda is a natural, safe, and effective deodorizer. Used regularly, it will definitely keep the stink away.

I keep a stainless steel parmesan cheese shaker filled with baking soda on my bathroom counter so I can easily add a few shakes to my distilled water container.


How to Clean Your Retainer with Castile Soap

Some people report that after they discontinue the use of dangerous cleaning tablets, they miss the “clean” smell they impart. Fortunately, castile soap is an effective and safe way to achieve that same freshness—simply add a squirt or two of castile soap to the water you soak the retainer in.

The main ingredients of castile soap are olive oil and coconut oil. This means it can do a wonderful job of cleaning and moisturizing your retainer without exposing it—or you—to harmful substances like persulfate.

However, castile soap may contain essential oils that have an antibacterial effect in the mouth and, thus, aren’t ideal. Try to avoid these oils, or, at the very least, rinse the retainer thoroughly before putting it back in your mouth.

(Or, you can try the DIY retainer cleaner that I personally use.)

How to Clean Your Retainer with White Vinegar

Using white vinegar as a 15 minute soak once a week or so will keep your retainer clean and disinfected. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your retainer after the vinegar soak, and then place it in a stainless steel container with distilled water.

How to Clean Your Retainer with a UV Sanitizer

My answer to this question is, “You shouldn’t.” While many dentists recommend UV sanitizers and actually have one in their office, UV light causes cell oxidation and can damage acrylic. Stay away from this method.

This is a completely different process than the ultrasonic method I mentioned above. Ultrasonic cleaners produce high frequency sound waves that create high-powered cleaning bubbles.

How to Clean Your Retainer with Hydrogen Peroxide

If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: You should never use hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner for your retainer!

Although it is often recommended, hydrogen peroxide should never be used in the mouth. It causes free radical reactions, and those free radical reactions are what age us.

If that’s not enough, hydrogen peroxide is also toxic and kills all types of bacteria in the mouth—many of which we need for the proper functioning of the oral microbiome. Additionally, there have been recent links made between the use of hydrogen peroxide and oral cancers.

Other Popular Retainer Cleaning Methods You Should Always Avoid

  • Brushing
  • Dishwashers
  • Boiling water or other heat, which can cause it to deform
  • Mouthwash
  • Retainer cleansers and tablets
  • UV light sanitizers
  • Bleach, alcohol, and other harsh chemicals

Final Thoughts

Keeping your retainer clean and odor free is important, but many popular cleaning methods will actually cause harm to your retainer, as well as your oral microbiome.

Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and persulfate (found in Efferdent, Polident, etc.) should never be a part of your cleaning routine. Neither should bleach, boiling water, or even regular toothpastes.

Instead, simply soak your retainer in distilled water (with baking soda and/or castile soap) to keep it fresh. Soaking your retainer in white vinegar once a week, or taking it to the dentist to be cleaned can also helpful.

Avoiding the use of harmful chemicals should help you take care of your retainer for a long time to come—and it should keep your mouth healthy in the process.

Read Next: How Long Should You Wear Your Retainers?

Become a VIP (for free!)

What you’ll get:
  • VIP newsletter with special deals & bonuses
  • Insider Secrets Guide: 10 things your dentist isn’t telling you


Leave a Comment

  1. I had a retainer but then I got diagnosised with TMJ so I wear that instead, but when I got my bite guard, they told me to buy cheap mouthwash and let it soak in there, it cleans it.
    Also once a week I’ll wash it with a toothbrush and tooth paste. Its crystal clear now

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the mouthwash called bc my retainer is cloudy

  2. Johanna Smith says:

    this has been very helpful to me. I have found that using baking soda does weaken my gums.

  3. I’ve just had my retainers fitted

  4. I thought i lost my retainers but i found them, should i keep them or get new ones tey look dried out.

    • @ gabriela,
      Soak them in clean water for 7 days, then try them in. That should make them expand a bit. If they fit without forcing them over your teeth, then wear them. Show your dentist the retainers next time you go in for your scheduled cleaning and check up. Nice job finding them!

      Mark Burhenne DDS

  5. I cant find a way to keep my retainers clean… 🙁 can someone help?

    • Anonymous says:

      I found a product online called dentasoak

    • Anonymous says:

      Brush your retainer the way you brush your teeth.i saw cleaning ta lets are harmful so theres no point of using it. Washing the retainer before and afterusing makes it smell nicer.

  6. My son just received his retainer today. Although it is not a post braces retainer, it is to correct over bite and correct his habit of pushing the back of his top teeth with his tongue before he gets braces. Although my son is 10 and is good at caring for things his father is not. He has to spend 42 days with him in the summer. I have already ordered a dentasoak starter kit but in the mean time what toothpaste is safe to use on his retainer? He currently uses Pronamel Bengal whitening toothpaste and a mentadent toothbrush on his teeth. Does he need to use a separate toothbrush for his retainer?

  7. My daughter had a fixed palatal crib placed today. Although she is doing well with it her’s unlike the ones I saw online has metal prongs hanging from it making it easy for food build up. Can anyone suggest a good toothbrush for this appliance? She also uses Pronamel gental whitening toothpaste, even though the appliance is all metal it is cemented in will this toothpaste cause us any undue problems?

    • No its most likey similar to braces so no toothpaste should damage it

  8. i got my retainer a few days ago and it’s basically an invisaline but my orthodontist told me not to use a toothbrush and toothpaste because it can scratch it and make it more prone to cracking

  9. Roberto Zeidan says:

    Loving your website! I hope that you continue to write amazing posts like this in the future so people like me can adore it! I absolutely will be coming back to read more.

  10. I just got my braces off 5 days ago, and now I wear a retainer. My orthodontists never mentioned anything about cleaning them. I thought a toothbrush and toothpaste would scratch them, so I’m not sure what to use. Could you help?


    • Anonymous says:

      My orthidontist said to brush it with water as soon as I take it off. But I have been doing some research and Viniger is supposed to get off any stains. If you want to find out about how to use Viniger just google it and they will give you all the information you need.

    • also, i’ve heard that 1 part bleach and 10 part water works, as the water keeps the bleach “in-line”

  11. I just got my braces off yesterday and they gave me a retainer, but they didn’t tell me how to clean it or if I should soak it in water when I’m not wearing it. What’s the right way to clean it so it won’t smell and won’t be dirty? And what do I do with it when I’m not wearing it so it won’t dry up?

  12. Mr. Fisherpus says:

    My retainer seems to easily catch bad smelling stuff. I use toothbrush and toothpaste to clean it, but I don’t want to have to clean it after every time I eat something. Is there any efficient way to clean it and do I need a separate toothbrush for my retainer?

  13. Don’t use toothpaste or a tooth brush for a plastic retainer; it can scratch the plastic.

  14. Allison Lindsey says:

    So, I had my retainer stole years ago, when I got it back it wouldn’t fit and the orthodontist said I needed braces again that a retainer wouldn’t fix it, my teeth are terrible, about what they were before the three years of braces I had before the retainers that were stolen. So I was looking into invisalign, but I work for room and board and it doens’t look as though I’ll be able to find other work anytime soon, is there a at home product of some kind that I can use that I don’t need a dentist or orthodontist for? You know something to just get started on getting them moved some, without killing my tounge and muscles pushing on them? I know I need a dentist to have them all straight, but I just want them non crowded enough to clean them well for the time, till I have the money and means for braces again or invisalign…any suggestions?

  15. Anonymous says:

    My orthodontist said not to use toothpaste to clean a retainer because it makes them go cloudy

  16. Anonymous says:

    but if you use toothpaste it turns the retainers cloudy!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    VINEGAR !!!!! Seriously this works so amazing ! Soak them in there for the whole day then rinse them off with warm water && then brush them with toothpaste ! I. Do this everytime ! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      How many times da day or week do you do this?

    • Anonymous says:

      I need help washing my top retainer

  18. Bummed Out says:

    I followed the advice about the 2 drops of organic castile soap. Before bed I soaked my Invisalign retainers in a cup for about an hour, in cold water. After I removed them from the solution I brushed them with toothpaste and went to wear them and THEY HAD WARPED! I have had them for 3 years with no problems, and my teeth were absolutely perfect – Veneer perfect. After they warped, I could tell by the way that they fit over my teeth, I tried to wipe them dry and I set them on the counter to dry off. I figured that when they dried off, they would be back to normal – NOPE!

    Hoping that my retainers would somehow magically go back to the perfect shape that they were, they didn’t… My teeth have shifted and now I actually have to pay about $300.00 to get new top and bottom retainers to fix my shifted teeth.

    I’m not sure if vinegar will warp the new ones if I soak them. I’m so nervous to soak them in anything other than water and mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide.

    Thank you for the advice, other than the organic castile soap junk. That stuff was expensive too!

    • Same thing just happened to me. I have had this retainer for 7 years as of yesterday it was super tight on my teeth. I’ve used efferdent or just brushed it off with toothpaste all this time. I discovered efferdent had harmful ingredients and decided to try a ‘safer’ option. One day in castille soap/water solution and it is so loose it wont even stay over my teeth. This is going to be a very expensive mistake. Author of this post needs to address this

  19. Ok so I got my retainer about a year ago in August and the dentist didn’t tell me anything but to put them on at night. They are cloudy and something have a bad odor. How do I get rid of this?

  20. Ive had my retainer for about 2 months now and when i take it of i put it in the case. Is it safe to put mouthwash in the case and let it sit there while its off? I brushed it with a toothbrush and tooth paste but im scared it will damage it! What do i do?

  21. Hi there! I just got my retainers like about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and my dentist didn’t gave any instructions on this :/ he doesn’t entertain questions… So this has been a real help for me. Btw how can i now if what i’m doing is correct? I mean how do i know if my retainers are dirty? 😮

    • Hi Vanessa, I know it’s been awhile since you posted but you know your retainer is dirty if it smells, if it tastes bad, and/or you notice white or yellowish buildup of stuff on it. Clean it off as fast as you can. Once it is set on there it is hard to get off.

  22. Never, I repeat never! Use toothpaste and toothbrush to clean your retainer

  23. My orthodontist said to use either toothpaste or mouthwash, or any anti Bactria soap. I use toothpaste and a tooth brush. Lol

  24. And it does make them cloudy but idc they warned me that too, but I’m lazy lol

  25. I got my retainers years ago. They are the clear Invisalign type retainers, Essex I thing they’re called. At first I was diligent in cleaning them. But as time went on I did it less and less to the point of stopping entirely ( disgusting I know.) When attempting to clean the finally I couldn’t seem to get off the white crusty junk.

    I researched it and found many sites recommended vinegar. I was hesitant, retainers aren’t cheap. But I but the bullet and tried it and oh my god it worked wonders. Not all of it came off but anything is better than it was. I still have yet to try it again to see if more comes off but I look forward to it.

    • Wow I need to stop staying up so late. So. Many. Spelling. Errors.

  26. I was told by dental office to use hand sanitizer to clean my retainer.

    • Big MAMA 3012 says:

      I believe using mouthwash is effective

  27. Anonymous says:

    My ortho sai to use gentle dish soap.

  28. Anonymous says:

    My ortho told me to use toothpaste and a toothbrush but now my retainer is all cloudy so is there a way to make them not so cloudy?

    • Also, will putting my retainer in mouthwash be a better way to clean or is there a better way to clean my retainer

  29. If I use baking soda, how much should I use?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oral dentist told me to use a capful of hydrogen peroxide with enough water to cover the occlusal guard. It soaks in there during the day.

    My dentist told me to use Efferdent.

    In checking out the persulfates that are in Efferdent, even though I bought a box of it, I will return to the first choice. Am calling the Efferdent Co. tomorrow because they do not list in detail what is in the tablet.

    I was told that you never, never use toothpaste as it can scratch and change the conformity of the guard.

  31. I just got my Invisalign retainer last week, and I need advice on cleaning it! My orthodontist told me to clean it with a tooth brush and tooth brush, but after I did, it got cloudy. I also read online about how toothpaste can make it cloudy so what should I clean it with?

  32. Can a dirty retainer cause your lips to swell possibly bringing on allergies you never had before?

  33. Just got my invisalign and my doctor told me not to use denture tablets bec they ruin the film of the thing. He gave me a packet called OAP cleaner and told me to use it. Anyone know if this works? want to make sure before i use it.

  34. Hello. My son used a toothbrush & paste to clean his retainer – remember we are strong people, against a little wire – Yep – broke it. Today, had to spend another $200 to have a new one fit & made. I don’t advise a toothbrush… looking for something a lot more gentle. Just soak it in soda water – which will soften up any food particles; swish & wear it!

  35. Thank you! I finally realized why I’ve been getting sick from wearing my over night retainer. I’ve been soaking it in alcohol during the day and would wear it at night. I would wake up in the morning with a sore throat and stuffy nose. Now I know!

  36. I just had to dig through garbage to find my retainers and they are disgusting. I’m using retainer brite or whatever it’s called but that is not enough for me to want to put them in my mouth… What else can I use that will disinfect them? Ones like an Invisalign and the others the plastic with wire. Please help.

  37. Is a UV retainer sanitizer safe to use for cleaning retainers daily?

  38. i’m seeing so many contradictory posts, some saying you must never use a toothbrush and toothpaste and some saying you must. i just got my retainer yesterday and i woke up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. i would just like to find out what the right thing to do is as i don’t want it to get cloudy or warp or anything. my orthodontist suggested a gentle liquid soap, but i’m sure then it will taste funny? what do you suggest i do? please help.

    • i’d say use 1 part bleach 10 part water, as it helps clearing the cloudiness and disinfects the retainer, not to mention you would brush your teeth with it a few times, so its not like you might be allergic.

    • Sorry this is a bit late of a resposne but I am in the same boat as you. My dentist gave me a soap specifically made to be gentle to aligners but also kill strep and flu on the aligner. I used it and my soar throats have gone away and aligner is clean. It is called Oap Cleaner. Hope this helps!

  39. I worry about scrubbing my retainer with toothbrush and toothpaste in case I crack it or break it like my sister did with hers. Also I notice that my toothbrush struggles to get into all the nooks and crannies on the inside. Is the some way I keep it thoroughly clean without risking damage?

  40. I don’t know the manufacture of my daughters retainer but its clear plastic that fits over the teeth, she was told to where it to bed every night! Every night she gets a sore throat …if she takes it out the sore throat goes away. Shes been to a doctor and he says she is not sick….what can be done? The orthodontist said he has never heard of anyone getting a sore throat from there retainer. HELP

    • Hi! I noticed you posted 2 months ago, I hope my response isn’t too late. The sore throat is because of the bacteria that has accumulated on the retainer; the same thing used to happen to me.

      It is important the retainer be kept clean at all times. How I keep the bacteria and nasty stuff under control is I brush and then soak my clear retainer in hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes. Keep it in baking soda water for the rest of the day until it’s time to wear again.

      I hope this gives your daughter some relief!

      • Use the cleaning soap called Oap cleaner. I love it. It kills bacteria (not just ODOR causing bacteria, which is what tablets do) along with some viruses. It works quickly also.

        Hope this helps you.

    • Anonymous says:

      How long has your daughter had the retainer? The first week or two I had my retainer, my tongue got swollen and I felt like I had strep. It went away after my mouth got used to the retainer. Also, my ortho told me to brush my teeth and then use the leftover suds to clean my retainer. Using the toothpaste directly on the retainer would scratch it he said.

  41. I have been really bad with cleaning my retainer and have not done it in ages and it looks really disgusting but I am way too afraid to confront my dentist, will this method still remove bacteria from my retainer if it is very dirty? thanks, you are the go to solution for any embarrassing dental problems!! please answer i really need help! If this method of removing plaque is not a very strong wash, do you recommend a stronger method that will remove lots of bacteria?

    • Someone else mentioned on this post, but for the sake of repeating: I found the easiest way to take care of them was the Oap cleaner solution.

  42. I have tried everything to clean my retainers for example bicarb soda and vinegar to brushing them. I had an appointment 3 days ago and they gave me new retainers because my old ones had a bit of wear on them I’ve nearly had them two years. I’m now using a denture tablet and water to clean them.

  43. I really want to know where he got the metal containers to keep his retainer/mouthwear. I cannot find these anywhere and I need them. I am sure I need to get rid of the plastic….

  44. Hello! How often do you do the soaking in baking soda water thing? Because I did it today and it worked wonders as it got rid of the smell and didn’t warp. I’m not sure if I should do it tomorrow as I’m scared it might ruin the plastic – I have read that baking soda is a mild abrasive and could cause your retainer to go cloudy.


  45. SandraBon says:

    I used a cleaning solution called oap cleaner. It works like purrell. You put it on and rinse it off. I take it with me (it comes in a small bottle). Works well when im in school. Also it says it kills bacteria and viruses. Makes my invisalign clean and clear and smelling like mint. I think you can get it online.

  46. I think my retainer infected my gums and they now have a sour taste together with a bad odour. Please advise on possible treatment.? mouth washes do not work. Thank u

  47. Valeria Gallardo says:

    Hello Dr Mark I’m dentist in Quito-Ecuador. I love your posts and I read you every moment I can. My english is acceptable (I believe jeje) and my favor to you is: If you can give me the documents or journals where your investigation based. I hope you can and I’m very happy to talk with you. Thanks.

  48. belinda cant says:

    Hello there, i did a bit of a stupid thing and i boiled my retainer the essex one. IT has warped and now hurts to put it on. I only got my braes off a week ago and now this. IM terrified to go to the dentist to ask him to remold it as im afraid to see the cost. Is there anyway to remold my plastic retainer by myself?? please i’m scared my teeth will shift. P.S. your advice is wonderful!

    regards belinda

    • Thanks very much, Belinda, I’m so glad you’re finding the blog useful! I appreciate comments like that from readers like you 🙂 As for your retainer, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there isn’t really any way you can reshape a retainer after it has been boiled. However, your dentist might be willing to make you another at a discount just this once, who knows, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Either way, I think you’re smart to be concerned about your teeth moving — get a new retainer quickly!

  49. I had strep. I need to know how to sanitize my retainer so I can wear again.

  50. Hi Dr Mark, thanks for taking the time responding to everyone’s questions. I also use OAP Cleaner and am very happy with the results.. It is easy to apply, works in under 1 minute, kills bacteria and odor, etc, and very easy to travel with. I started using it to clean my toothbrush as well..

  51. Hello Dr. Burhenne,

    I have been wearing one and the same plastic retainers every night already one and a half year. My Orthodontist tolled me to wear it three more months. Is it allowed to put the same PLASTIC retainer for so long time ?
    Thank you

  52. Hazel Kirby says:

    Can I soak my hawley retainer in baking soda? It doesn’t have solder on it but my dentist said i shouldn’t use it because it corrodes the metal, but i don’t want to use persulfate either, so i don’t know what to use. He suggested steralizing tablets like milton, but when i used them on my essix retainer, they didn’t clean off the deposits.

    • Yes, I’d go ahead and use baking soda. Your dentist may be concerned that the baking soda will etch the stainless steel and only acids can do that. Baking soda is the opposite of an acid. Stainless steel will never keep its original form because it’s in your mouth with saliva so there’s very little difference btwn being in your mouth or being in water with baking soda. The thing to remember is that baking soda will disinfect your retainer but not with caustic chemicals–only by a slight elevation in pH so in that way it’s wonderful and safe.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much for answering. That is very helpful. I only wear the retainers at night now, so how long should i soak them for?

      • Hazel Kirby says:

        Thank you so much for answering. That is very helpful. I only wear the retainers at night, so how long should i soak them for?

        • ferral catr says:

          He already said it in the pdf, you should leave them soaking in the baking soda water all day long and then you wear the retainers all night and then brush them when you brush your teeth in the morning and place them back in the baking soda water all day.

          SO they are either in your mouth or they are soaking in the baking soda water

          • Hazel Kirby says:

            Thank you, yes, I realize he said that, but my orthodontist told me not to soak my hawley retainer in baking soda. In the illustrative youtube video, the retainers shown were essix retainers, so so I wanted to be sure that the advice given here applied to my particular type of retainer too.

      • So I am very confused on how to clean my Invisalign?
        Some websites say to use toothpaste other say not to and some don’t Evan talk about it. do I or not? and what kind of tooth paste would be best if it is okay to use? and I don’t know if I scratched my invisalign or its plaque its on the bottom where I bite down ? Please help me I got my Invisalign 2 weeks ago can I soak my Invisalign in baking soda will it ruin the plastic

  53. Hi. Can you help? Before reading your article, I soaked my retainer into Dettol Antiseptic solution and my retainer has been bleached. Can I still using it? How should I do?

  54. I was wondering if soaking my retainer in the baking soda would help remove some of the tartar that has already built up?

  55. Hi
    I have a retainer and have been told to wear it at night.I can’t tolerate it in my mouth at night so I put it in during the day on and off so it adds up to about 8 hrs daily.
    Ihave a very hard bite and my two front teeth are moving forward.I don’t want to go goofy!!

    Is it ok to do what I am doing.

    • ferral catr says:

      No, its not good and your teeth are going to move back out of alignment and then you will really look goofy for real. And you will have to get braces all over again.

      Just wear them at night like you’re supposed to. After a week or so you should adjust to it.

      Cant you tolerate a temporary discomfort in order to have a beautiful smile in the future?

      Think of those who have been in a fire and have to endure skin grafts and horrific pain and agony and how would they feel to listen to your complaints that you cannot endure a night’s sleep with the retainer.

      Toughen up, kid

  56. Gary Schwartz says:

    HEllo Dr. B,

    Where did you get the stainless steel containers to clean your retainers? I can’t seem to find them in local stores.. I’m trying to get away from the porous plastics we currently use

  57. shalicia james says:

    I have had my retainers for a while and I don’t know what to clean them with.Should I use toothpaste to clean them or soap.

  58. davie smith says:

    Hi. Can anybody give me some examples of costs of orthodontic treatment. I mean costs of braces (with brackets and rubber bands) and appointments (to make adjustments etc).
    Could anybody give me an idea of what costs to expect?
    Thank you,

  59. Shaunn Stamourr says:

    if you boil a child’s block retainer will bad chemicals come out of it. after boiling it are daughter got a tung bacteria. not sure if it’s related.

  60. hi I have had my retainers fitted for about 4 to 5 weeks now and I have been cleaning them twice a day in the morning at and at night. I Have been using the kids 6+ ‘my big teeth’ Aquafresh toothpaste it has 24 hour sugar acid protection and fluoride protection and i have been using a kids soft toothbrush to brush it as well. I feel like my orthodontist is going to shout at me because i have been using toothpaste because the leaflet she gave me said that you have to brush it with a toothbrush twice a day but don’t use toothpaste, but i want it fresh and not smelly so i have been using kids toothpaste because i thought it isn’t going to affect the retainers because it is for kids growing teeth and i’m not using ordinary toothpaste which will probably affect the retainer when i use kids toothpaste it makes it fresh and not smelly where as if i just use water it is smelly and not fresh. i am wondering if i just use kids toothpaste with a kids soft toothbrush is it not going to affect the retainer. please help me what should i do stop using the toothpaste and use something different or keep using the kids toothpaste and toothbrush?

  61. So I am very confused on how to clean my Invisalign?
    Some websites say to use toothpaste other say not to and some don’t Evan talk about it. do I or not? and what kind of tooth paste would be best if it is okay to use? and I don’t know if I scratched my invisalign or its plaque its on the bottom where I bite down ? Please help me I got my Invisalign 2 weeks ago

  62. Robin Scott says:

    Does the bowl have to be staimless steel or can I use a glass bowl with a lid???

  63. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    It’s good to know how to care for retainers. It’s scary to think that some soaking solutions can be toxic, since the retainer soaks up things. When my son gets his retainer, I will make sure to use baking soda.

  64. I really need help !
    My dad accidently threw my retainers away in a garbage can and I didn’t realize till a few hours later.
    Are my retainers good to use again?
    I’m scared that they might have absorbed some type of bacteria? And I can’t afford new retainers.

  65. I am confused on whether to place my retainers inside a cup of cold/cool water when I’m not using it, or just to put it inside my case…
    I usually take them out just to eat or brush my teeth, and altogether it takes less than an hour for each meal. Is it better to clean the retainers and put them back in the case, or clean and leave them in distilled water each time I take them out?

  66. My plastic retainer keeps breaking. I get my cleaner from the store. My orthodontist says it’s bad for my retainer. I don’t know how else to clean it. My cleaner is the only way I know. And my parents are very strict when I mention orthodontist appointments or dentist appointments. Plus is there any way to keep my retainer from hurting me or breaking?

Leave a Reply