How to Clean Invisalign Retainers

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers


For today’s do it yourself job I will go over  how to clean Invisalign retainers. Invisalign retainers help to straighten your teeth, and give them a proper shape. Depending on your condition, your doctor may ask you to wear these Invisalign retainers for a short term or long term. Regardless of how frequently you use these retainers, it is important to clean them properly. You would already know that wearing anything on or inside your mouth has to be cleaned thoroughly, as they are prone to bacterial and plaque buildup.

Since they are similar to braces, Invisalign retainers need to be maintained in an organized way. According to oral care professionals, it is highly advisable to clean these retainers once every night (twice a day is the best). Even if you do a normal cleaning of these retainers every day, you have to deep-clean them at least once a week to remove all traces of any contaminants.

Invisalign retainers don’t come cheap, and you would want them to do the job for you properly. Unclean retainers can lead to your teeth going back to their original incorrect shape, yellowing of teeth and other issues. So, let’s keep reading more on how to clean these retainers the right way.

  • Using the cleaning crystals

The Invisalign Retainer Cleaning Kit comes with some cleaning crystals, and clear instructions on how to use those crystals for cleaning. These are very simple. Follow them to clean your retainers once every night. After you have cleaned them thoroughly, it is important to rinse them properly. Never use hot water for cleaning your Invisalign retainers. Always use lukewarm water. In a bowl of lukewarm water, keep your retainers for a minute in this bowl. Rinse them thoroughly and use them.

  • Using cleaning tablets

These work like cleaning crystals. In a bowl of lukewarm water, place your Invisalign retainers. Now, drop the crystals or tablets (follow the quantity as mentioned in the package). Shake the bowl a little, so that the crystals or tablets are dissolved completely. Let the retainers soak in this mixture for about 15 minutes. Take them out after 15 minutes, rinse them with lukewarm water, and they are cleaned thoroughly.

  • Using distilled white vinegar

In a bowl, mix distilled white vinegar and lukewarm water in a ratio of 1:3. Place your Invisalign retainers in this mixture. These retainers should be completely submerged in the vinegar solution. Let it soak there for about 30 minutes. Take them out after half an hour, and rinse them well to get rid of all residues and deposits.

  • Using a toothbrush

When you set out to look for cleaning products for Invisalign retainers, you may find a lot of cleaning crystals, tablets and the like. However, these are quite costly, and not all of them can afford the same. If you are looking at keeping your retainers clean & odor-free on a tight budget, you will be surprised to know that the solution lies in your toothbrush.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the Invisalign retainers. Rub on all the corners to get rid of all residues collected there. Rinse with lukewarm water, and your retainers are sparkling clean! Do this twice a day, and you don’t have to spend a penny on any costly cleaning products. Avoid using toothpaste while cleaning the retainers, because toothpaste can cause scratches or marks on the material of these retainers.

  • Using hydrogen peroxide

If you can’t find distilled white vinegar, you can also use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning your Invisalign retainers. Make a DIY cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Place the retainers in this mixture in such a way that the solution covers the retainers completely. Allow the retainers to soak in the bowl for about 15 t0 minutes. Take them out of the bowl, and rinse them thoroughly in lukewarm water to bring back the shine in them.

Generic tips on caring for Invisalign Retainers

  • When putting back your retainers on your teeth after a meal, ensure you have properly brushed and flossed your teeth. Using dental floss to get rid of food particles stuck in your teeth before using retainers is very important. When you don’t clean your teeth properly, plaque and other bacteria can get to the retainers. After spending a lot on retainers, wouldn’t you be disappointed if they don’t do the job that they were supposed to do?
  • When you are not using the Invisalign retainers, always store them in the box that they came in. If you have thrown away the box, store these retainers in a bowl or glass of water. This way, they will remain clean and safe from dust & bacteria in the air.
  • Never wear your retainers during a meal, especially when you plan to eat something colorful or stain-causing foods. Retainers can catch on to these stains easily, and they will start to discolor and smell foul. Replacing or repairing them is a costly affair; hence, it is a good idea to remove them during mealtimes.
  • You should never use hot water for cleaning Invisalign retainers. This will cause the material of the retainers to melt or distort, thereby affecting the shape of your teeth.
  • Regardless of the method you choose to clean your Invisalign retainers, always remember to rinse them with lukewarm water to remove all residues and deposits.
  • If you forgot to remove your retainers while eating colored foods, your retainers may have picked up those stains quickly. You don’t have to worry, in this case. Try soaking these retainers in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, or distilled white vinegar (use the proportions that we explained above) overnight. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water in the morning, to see that the stains have disappeared from the retainers. For best results, you can add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to this solution before soaking your retainers. This will help to loosen the color and plaque that has settled on the retainers.
  • Cleaning twice a day (once before breakfast, and once before bedtime) is very important to care for your Invisalign retainers properly. If you do this regularly, you don’t have to invest in any other costly cleaning product or remedial action.

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