Whether it’s the plastic-and-metal retainer or a modern-looking Invisalign tray, retainer cleanliness is crucial to oral health. To help you find the best retainer cleaners, we compiled a list of the best products and tools for keeping your retainers fresh and bacteria-free. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
The Best Retainer Cleaners
|Best Retainer Cleaners
|1. Retainer Brite Tablets Value Pack
|2. Steraligner Starter Kit
|3. Invisalign Cleaning Crystals for Aligners and Retainers
|4. M3 Naturals Retainer and Denture Cleaning Tablets
|5. Avistar Retainer & Denture Cleaner Tablets
|6. WhiteFoam On-The-Go Clear Retainer Cleaner
|7. Polident Antibacterial Denture Cleanser
1. Retainer Brite 120 Tablets Value Pack
Several experts recommend Retainer Brite for daily use as it comes in the form of dissolvable tablets. It is an effervescent cleaner made by a leading dental manufacturer. The best part is that it is inexpensive and safe on the retainers over time. Soak the mixture for a few minutes and then remove any leftover debris using a brush and rinse.
Moreover, this product comes highly-recommended because it doesn’t stain your retainer or aligner. Unlike mouthwashes, this cleaner keeps your retainers fresh and spotless. Other solutions like Listerine leave a dull, foggy look on the retainers. On the other hand, Brite is easy to use and protects your retainers. You can leave your retainers sitting in a cup of water mixed with Brite while getting dressed.
2. Steraligner Starter Kit
Our next pick is a white-foam clear retainer cleaner by Steraligner. An orthodontist developed it with thepromise that it willleave your retainers squeaky-clean.
Moreover, it has bactericidal effects to keep your retainers clean and bacteria-free. You can clean and disinfect the alignment tray within three minutes. You can also use it on an Invisalign tray and other branded devices. Lastly, it offers excellent protection against bruxism and bites.
3. Invisalign Cleaning Crystals for Aligners and Retainers
Invisalign Crystals are one of the top-rated retainer cleaners on our list. These cleaning crystals are perfect for people who enjoy staining foods and liquids, like coffee or wine and curry chicken. You can keep your retainers odor-free, hygienic, and fresh with Invisalign cleaning crystals. They remove plaque from retainers and aligners in less than fifteen minutes.
Moreover, this packet contains fifty packets (50-week) supply at a pocket-friendly rate. You can find one at your local store or order online.
4. OAP Gel Cleaner
For a more natural alternative, we recommend the OAP Cleaner. It is a sulfate-free option and is equally effective at cleaning and sanitizing retainers or aligners. All you have to do is apply the OAP to scrub the retainer and rinse. You don’t need to soak your retainers, so it’s best for people with allergies.
Moreover, this innovative sanitizing solution claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria, germs, microbes, and viruses. Lastly, it’s safe to use dentures, plastic aligners, bite plates, retainers, night guards, device containers, and athletic mouthpieces.
5. M3 Naturals Retainer and Denture Cleaning Tablets
For a retainer cleaner that helps eliminate morning breath, we highly recommend the M3 Naturals Retainer and Denture Cleaning Tablets. Ideal and safe for dentures, the M3 claims to kill 99.99 percent of odor-causing bacteria found on oral appliances. You can add warm water to create a cleaning solution that leaves a minty and refreshing aftertaste.
Moreover, the M3 gets rid of bacteria and removes tartar, plaque, stains, and discoloration. Soak your oral appliances for ten minutes to maintain cleanliness, but you can also leave them overnight to eliminate stubborn stains.
6. iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Denture/Aligner/Retainer Cleaner
If you want to skip the cleaning tablets and still get a deep clean, we recommend using the iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Retainer Cleaner. The iSonic uses ultrasonic waves to create tiny bubbles that scrub the bacteria from oral appliances. The iSonic works in just five minutes and is perfect for use with dentures, aligners, retainers, night guards, and partials.
In addition to clean retainers, the iSonic also has a tray that you can use to clean jewelry.
7. Avistar Retainer Cleaner
Avistar Retainer cleaner is one of the top retainer cleaners on our list. This package contains 150 best retainer cleaner tablets. You get up to five-month supply in one box, which is a great thing. Who wants to buy cleaner pills every month? Besides leaving your retainers, dentures, and other mouths additives squeaky-clean without a film or dirty residue, they work superbly at removing coffee and wine stains.
8. FancyMay Retainer Cleaning Tablets
These are one of the most effective retainercleaningtablets onthe market. These easy-to-use tablets will leave your retainers germ-free within fifteen minutes. All you need to do is immerse your retainers into the blue bubble soak.
These tablets by FancyMay use the highest grade ingredients and are manufactured in FDA approved factory. The mild formula won’t irritate your mouth, damage retainers, and prevents discoloration. You can use this every day to keep your retainer clean and odorless.
9. WhiteFoam On-the-Go Clear Retainer Cleaner
For a cleaner that doesn’t call for any soaking time, consider the WhiteFoam On-the-Go Clear Retainer Cleaner. Designed for clear aligners and retainers, WhiteFoamis useable while you’re wearing the dental appliance.
Using a low-dose, patented hydrogen peroxide formula, WhiteFoam can kill up to 99.9 percent of bacteria, including staph aureus, E. coli, step mutants, and strep pneumonia, which help prevent bad breath and tooth decay. Lastly, Whitefoam also helps whiten parts of your teeth covered by retainers and aligners.
10. Smile Again retainer cleaner
The Smile Again Retainer Cleaner can be the best choice for you. It kills 99.99 percent of bacteria, including candida. Each packet contains potent ingredients that you can add to water and create a cleaning solution. You can use this for up to ten days of soaking.
Moreover, this product is safe and convenient to use. Besides removing tartar and plaque, it’ll help you remove coffee, tea, and wine stains.
11. DentaSOAK Mouthpiece Retainer cleaner
DentaSoakis a safe and effective retainer cleaner. It uses a non-toxic sulfate and alcohol-free formula to deliver impressive results. It claims to kill 99.99 percent of infection-causing bacteria.
Moreover, this cleaner features both powder and liquid components that you mix, which you can use for up to a week. It’s a budget-friendly retainer cleaner and comes with a three month supply.
12. Dental Appliance Cleansing Towelettes
This mint-flavored cleaner has no toxic chemicals and is easy to use. You don’t need to soak your retainers in the solution when you can wipe using cleansing towels. This cleaner is an excellent lifestyle solution for cleaning your dental appliances. It can quickly kill harmful germs and bacteria.
13. Polident Antibacterial Denture Cleanser
Our last pick is this unique cleanser that works in three ways. It kills 99.99% of harmful bacteria, removes stains, and cleans without scratching.
It’s one of the top-rated products on our list and comes at an affordable price. It cleans where brushing can miss and leaves your retainers ultra-clean.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the best cleaning solution
If you wear a retainer or dentures, you need to know how to care for them. Your retainers sit inside your mouth and against your teeth, so they quickly accumulate bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Just like you clean your teeth every day, it’s crucial to cleanse your retainer every day.
Many people wear a retainer full time after they have their braces removed. Teeth can move, so even after the braces have fixed them, they can shift over time. Retainers help the muscles and tissues of your mouth hold teeth in their new position. Some people even need to wear their retainers at night to keep teeth in place.
Here’s more about the different types of retainer types and cleaners:
Types of Retainer Cleaners
Retainer cleaners come in four major types: basic pastes, solutions, tablets, and wipes.
Retainer Cleaner Tablets
You can drop a tablet into warm water and then soak and brush your retainer. The cleaning solution is gentle enough to use every day. Tablets are standard retainer cleaners. These are effervescent dental cleaners, meaning they create fizz when placed in warm water. The dissolved tablet contains cleansing chemicals that remove both stains and plaque. The fizzing will assist the cleaning process. You can use tap water and leave the retainers for a few minutes to overnight.
Retainer Creams, Pastes, and Gels
You can try removing retainers and brushing with cream, paste, or gel and then rinsing with warm water.
Pastes for retainers are similar to regular toothpaste. The only difference is that the paste is very gentle – anything that is abrasive can damage the retainers. Professionals recommend using these pastes regularly, preferably after every meal. Similar to toothpaste, retainer gels are applied to the retainers with a toothbrush. A soft-bristled, small to medium brush is best.
Cleaning varies by type
Caring for your retainers begins with identifying which kind you have. There are three types of retainers:
Hawley retainers use an acrylic mold to fit your mouth. They feature a wire that helps you’re your retainer in place. This type of retainer is easy to remove and clean.
Clear plastic retainers go by the names Essix, Vivera, or clear aligners. These retainers can slip over your teeth and are invisible. They’re easy to remove and clean but aren’t as durable as Hawley retainers.
Fixed or bonded retainers can also be called permanent retainers. These are attached to your lower front teeth. They’re suitable if you have a high risk of getting your teeth to shift. You can’t remove these types of retainers.
How to clean your retainer
You can remove both Hawley and clear plastic retainers from your mouth for daily cleaning.
Follow these steps to clean your retainers:
- Make sure you cleanse your retainer as you remove it from your mouth while it’s wet, making it easier to wipe off any debris and plaque before it hardens.
- Brush your retainer using lukewarm water after each meal. It’s a great idea to brush your teeth together at the same time.
- For a deeper clean, mix warm water with mild dish soap (toothpaste can be abrasive and scratch the retainer’s surface). Use a soft toothbrush to scrub away plaque and other debris gently.
Moreover, you can use a cotton swab to get into the deepest corners and ridges on clear plastic retainers. Ask a professional about soaking your retainer in a denture cleaner, like Efferdent or Polident. If they recommend soaking, mix one cup of warm water with one tablet and follow the package guidelines. If you notice debris on your denture that won’t come off, take it to a professional dentist or orthodontist. There are strong solutions that can remove stubborn tartar.
Fixed, or bonded, retainers
Retainers or dentures are attached to your teeth, so you must floss daily to keep them clean. This process may seem daunting at first, but you’ll slowly get the hang of it. Here’s how to clean your fixed retainer:
- Buy a 6-inch piece of floss and thread the floss between your front lower teeth.
- Hold one end of the 6-inch floss with your fingers.
- Once under your retainer wire, move it up and down between your teeth to your gums. The floss will gently clean below the gum line.
- Slide your floss sideways to other areas you want to clean.
- Repeat this simple process with each tooth that’s attached to the permanent retainer.
If you’re facing trouble flossing, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your local dentist or orthodontist. They can help explain the technique and provide more tips.
Frequently Answered Questions
How do I get plaque off retainers?
Sometimes, tartar buildup and calcium deposits can form on these oral devices, just like on teeth. You can remove them by rinsing your retainer and then submerging it in vinegar. Leave your device in the vinegar for two to five minutes, and scrub it off with a toothbrush.
What is the white buildup on my retainer?
The white layer is the calcium deposits from your saliva. Plaque and tartar from your oral cavity can stick to your retainer if you’re not cleaning it daily. Place your retainer in a cup filled with white vinegar. In a few minutes, scrub the retainer thoroughly and rinse.
Can I use vinegar to clean my retainer?
Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and warm tap water in a cup. Submerge your retainer for ten to twenty minutes, and rinse well. Note that while distilled vinegar has germ-killing capabilities, it doesn’t prevent the white plaque buildup.
How do I sterilize a retainer at home?
To sanitize the retainer, you can use lukewarm water and antibacterial dish soap. Scrub your retainer in the solution and rinse. After this, you can place it in rubbing alcohol for a short time. Don’t exceed fifteen minutes because alcohol can cause damage to the retainer.
Can I clean the retainer with hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen Peroxide and Warm Water Soak – Mix tap water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in equal amounts and submerge your retainer for thirty minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Hydrogen peroxide will kill some germs, but won’t remove any plaque buildup.