How to Clean Retainers

By  //  July 11, 2023

Retainers are a vital part of achieving a straighter smile, and keeping them clean is essential for optimal results. In this article, we will explore the how to clean retainers, including on-the-go solutions, deep-cleaning methods, and natural remedies. 

By maintaining proper oral hygiene and regular cleaning, you can prevent bacterial growth, plaque buildup, and odors, while prolonging the lifespan of your retainers. Discover the secrets to a sparkling smile and a healthier mouth with these effective cleaning tips.

Why Is Cleaning Retainers Important

Proper cleaning of retainers is crucial. Firstly, it prevents bacterial growth, reducing the risk of bad breath, gum inflammation, and oral infections. Regular cleaning also helps prevent plaque buildup and maintain oral hygiene. Additionally, cleaning eliminates odors and ensures a fresh feeling while wearing retainers. Lastly, proper cleaning extends the lifespan of retainers, preventing damage and interruptions in your treatment.

How Often to Clean Retainers

Establishing a regular cleaning routine is essential to maintain optimal hygiene and the effectiveness of your retainers. Clean them at least twice a day, especially in the morning after waking up, after meals, and before bedtime. This removes bacteria, food particles, and stains accumulated throughout the day, ensuring a clean and fresh environment for your teeth and gums.

How to clean retainers

On-the-go cleaning: 

When you’re away from home, it’s important to have convenient cleaning options:

  • Foam Retainer Cleaner: Fizzy 3-in-1 Retainer Cleaner, Mouthwash and Toothpaste is designed to effectively clean retainers without requiring water or rinsing. Pump the foam onto your retainers, let it sit, and you’re good to go.
  • Disposable toothbrushes: Carry disposable toothbrushes and travel-sized toothpaste for brushing your teeth and retainers. These compact brushes are designed for single use and eliminate the need for running water.
  • Travel-sized mouthwash or mouth spray: Carry alcohol-free mouthwash or mouth spray to freshen your breath and temporarily maintain oral hygiene.
  • Rinsing with water or bottled water: When possible, rinse your mouth and retainers with clean water or bottled water to remove debris temporarily.
  • Brush afterward: When you have access to a clean bathroom and running water, thoroughly brush your teeth and clean your retainers as recommended.

Deep Cleaning Methods: 

If you want to give your retainers a deep cleaning, you could consider the following methods:

  • Baking soda and vinegar: Create a paste using baking soda and vinegar, and gently brush your retainers with the mixture. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
  • Ultrasonic machine and cleaning crystals: Use an ultrasonic machine filled with water and a retainer to clean crystals or tablets. Submerge your retainers, let the machine run, and rinse them afterward.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Retainers 

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean both your teeth and retainers.
  • Avoid using abrasive toothpaste, as it can scratch or damage the retainer surface.
  • Steer clear of hot water, as it can deform the retainers. Stick to lukewarm water for cleaning.
  • Avoid colored mouthwash to prevent discoloration of your retainers.
  • Do not use alcohol or alcohol-based products, as they can make the plastic brittle and less transparent.


Cleaning your retainers regularly and following proper oral hygiene practices are crucial for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. By preventing bacterial growth, plaque buildup, and odors, as well as prolonging the lifespan of your retainers through regular cleaning, you can ensure the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. Whether you’re at home or on the go, there are effective retainer cleaners available to keep your retainers fresh and hygienic. Remember to follow the do’s and don’ts to ensure proper care and maintenance. By incorporating these cleaning techniques into your daily routine, you’ll achieve a sparkling smile and enjoy the benefits of a healthier mouth.