How to Clean Retainers

retainer buildup

For those of you who have kids with retainers or if you have one, this post is for you. If not, check out the before and after picture anyways, ’tis a great transformation. After the orthodontist removed the braces and handed you the retainer, do any of you remember getting instructions on how to keep your retainer clean? At that point if he did explain it, there was an OBSESSION with how slimy and smooth teeth felt and I can’t remember. Well we have some super gross retainers and some how I stumbled onto a simple way to get rid of the white build up.

How to Remove White Buildup from Retainers

removing white retainer buildup

The white buildup is tater and calcium leftover from the mouth.

Step One: Place retainers in case or cup, I used the plastic case.
Fill case with vinegar just until retainers are covered.

Step Two: Let retainers soak for 30 minutes.
(I may or may not have forgotten mine and let them soak overnight… oops)

Step Three: Rinse retainers and brush with toothpaste and you’re done.

Cleaning retainers


Clean Retainer

Look how blue and shiny they are!

Are you as amazed as I am at how well that worked. I had a moment of “duh that worked so well. Vinegar is awesome at removing crusty stuff.” For those of you cool enough to have Invisalign retainers, here is cool article on how to clean and take care of those.

Happy Cleaning


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6 thoughts on “How to Clean Retainers

  1. The White thing over the retainer is also tooth paste. As my dentist told me (I use retainers) wash them with regular hand soap with a separate toothbrush. No need to put on vinegar ever. Tooth paste works for your teeth but not for retainer, you actually need to remove everything and tooth paste tends to stick. Easy and its already what you do everyay but with soap instead of tooth paste.

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  3. My ortho recommended using denture cleaner. Just fill a cup with warm water, drop in a denture cleaner and let it fizz for a bit. (I don’t ever time it) Remove and rinse off and they should be sparkly clean!

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