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How To Care for Invisalign Retainers

By

Updated May 27, 2014

You have embarked on an orthodontic journey known as Invisalign, and you've been given a series of clear retainers that will guide your teeth into perfection. Caring for these Invisalign retainers is paramount in order to obtain the best results and avoid costly replacement retainers.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Five to 10 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Remove the Invisalign retainer from your mouth and rinse it under tepid water. Tepid water is neither too hot, nor too cold.

  2. Apply toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush or retainer brush. Using small circular motions, gently brush the entire retainer, both inside and out. Once you have completely brushed the Invisalign retainer, rinse the retainer again under tepid water.

  3. Inspect the retainer for any calcium build-up. Like your teeth, retainers are susceptible to tartar (calculus) build-up. Calcium build-up appears as a cloudy white film on the retainer that is hard to remove with a toothbrush.

    If you notice any calcium build-up, soak the retainer in a denture or retainer cleaning solution as instructed on the package. The Invisalign website sells a cleaning product designed specifically for Invisalign retainer called the "Invisalign Cleaning System".

  4. Once you have completed cleaning your Invisalign retainer, you can place it back into your mouth.

Tips:

  1. Do not soak your clear Invisalign retainers in mouthwash. Because most mouthwashes contain a color pigment, the resin material may pick up the color from the mouthwash, leaving you with tinted retainers.
  2. Clean your retainers each time you brush your teeth. Any plaque or food particles that are trapped inside the retainer will also sit on your teeth, potentially causing the decay process to begin.
  3. It is important to note that because Invisalign retainers are constructed from a resin (plastic), you should avoid using warm or hot water. Water that is too warm can distort the retainers, causing them to become ill-fitted. If you have used warm or hot water in the past, bring the retainer to your dentist to ensure that it still fits correctly.
  4. When you are instructed to move on to the next set of retainers, it is advisable to thoroughly clean the previous retainer and store it in its case. There are instances where patients are required to wear a previous retainer. Ensuring it is clean and bacteria-free will help eliminate any odor and residue left on the retainer.

What You Need

  • Toothbrush or retainer brush
  • Retainer cleaner or denture cleaner
  • Toothpaste
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