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Tips for Keeping Your Invisalign Retainers Clean

Dr. Mojaver

May 1, 2022

Invisalign Retainers

Now that you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, you’ll have clear, removable retainers to keep your smile straight. And just like you clean your Invisalign trays, you’ll want to know how to clean Invisalign retainers to prevent buildup and other residues.

But unlike knowing how to clean Invisalign trays, your retainers will be something that you wear for a much longer period of time. That means you may need some “heavy-duty” action every now and then to remove stains or keep your retainers clean.

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers

When it comes to knowing how to clean Invisalign trays, there are several safe and effective options. Here are just a few:

Brush Them Every Day—Whenever you take your retainer out, brush it with a soft toothbrush and tap water. Clean the inside and outside to remove anything that’s still wet and soft before it hardens into deposits across the retainer’s surface.

Do Not Use Hot Water—You probably remember when you learned how to clean Invisalign trays, but hot water is completely off-limits. Any warmer temperatures will warp and damage your retainer to the point that it will need to be replaced. As a side note, make sure you’re storing your Invisalign retainer in a cool, dry place that’s out of the reach of any pets or small children. It should be able to air dry without staying moist when you’re not wearing it.

Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste—Even though it may sound like common sense to clean your Invisalign retainers with baking soda or an abrasive charcoal toothpaste, it can cause micro-scratches in the acrylic. Over time, these scratches will lead to additional residue buildup and stains. Instead, only use non-abrasive toothpaste or even antibacterial hand soap.

Use Denture Cleansing Tablets—Denture cleanser is safe and effective for cleaning Invisalign retainers and trays. It can also help if you’re trying to figure out how to clean stained Invisalign products.

To use these tablets, place them in the bottom of a cup or glass, set your Invisalign appliance on top of it, and then fill the glass with room-temperature water. Allow the aligner/retainer to soak for several hours. Then remove it, brush the inside and outside, and rinse it clean.

Buy Invisalign Cleaning Tablets—If you prefer to be as safe as possible, consider using Invisalign cleaning tablets to remove residue and stains from your retainers. Like denture cleansing tablets, these products are made to help dissolve buildup across your tray so that you can brush it clean afterward.

Disinfect it with Vinegar—Distilled vinegar is a safe and effective disinfectant for oral appliances like Invisalign trays or retainers. If you are sick and need to clean your device, soak it in a cup of distilled vinegar for at least 30 minutes, then rinse it clean.

How to Clean Stained Invisalign Retainers or Trays

Our Downtown San Diego dentists will talk with you one-on-one about whether it’s necessary to occasionally soak your Invisalign retainer in something diluted, like water with a teaspoon of bleach. You do not want to permanently damage your retainers, so always avoid using harsh chemicals unless specifically directed by our San Diego dentists. Otherwise, it could result in a completely useless oral appliance and added care costs.

The best thing to do is to prevent stains on your retainer by:

  • Take it out whenever you’re eating or drinking
  • Rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth before you put it back in
  • Cleaning your retainer daily

Bring it in for a Cleaning

Bring your Invisalign retainer with you to AlignBar whenever you’re due for a dental cleaning. Our San Diego dental team will check it for buildup and can clean away any stain or tartar deposits that formed on your retainer since the last checkup. We can also provide you with more personalized advice on how to clean Invisalign retainers when we see yours in person.

Call AlignBar in Downtown San Diego today to reserve your next appointment!

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