[dt_sc_dropcap type=”Circle” variation=”electricblue”]M[/dt_sc_dropcap]ost of us have seen the TV ads for commercial denture cleaners. They are usually blue fizzy tablets that you dissolve in water which are designed to remove stains and odors from artificial teeth. So what about dental appliances like clear retainers, sports mouth guards and nighttime grinding guards? Is there a good way to clean them?
Instead of having to purchase products specifically for cleaning your appliances you can use a few household items that work just as well, if not better. The first thing you will want to do is to be sure that you are rinsing your appliance every day and giving it a light scrub with a wet toothbrush. It’s better to limit toothpaste use because, over time, the silica grit can scratch acrylic and leave places for stains to accumulate. Also be sure that you are cleaning the case that holds your appliance when it’s not in your mouth. Bacteria will grow anywhere that is moist and dark.
Once a month you’ll want to give your appliance a deep cleaning. For this you will need some white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. [dt_sc_pullquote type=”pullquote2″ align=”center” icon=”no”]Once a month you’ll want to give your appliance a deep cleaning. For this you will need some white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.[/dt_sc_pullquote]
Pour the vinegar in a small non-metal bowl and let your appliance soak in it for a few hours. The acid is strong enough to help break up the proteins, odors and other debris that may accumulate on your guard. A word of caution, though: if your appliance also has metal in it the vinegar can cause it to corrode slightly, so you probably shouldn’t use this process. This is when you’ll want to use a denture product specifically labeled for use with partials (typically dentures with metal parts).
After you’ve soaked your appliance in vinegar, rinse the bowl and the appliance. Pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bowl, add your appliance and let it soak for a few more hours. This will remove all of the vinegar flavor and it helps to bleach out any remaining organic particles. Be sure to rinse off the peroxide before you put the appliance in your mouth.
If you notice that your guard has some stains that won’t come out despite your best efforts, that’s okay. Most of them will discolor after several years of use. Just be sure to bring it along with you at your next dental appointment so that we can make sure that it fits properly. If necessary we can even give it our best ultrasonic cleaning while you’re having your dental care completed.
And if it’s time to get your nightguard replaced, you’ll be glad to hear that we no longer have to take cold, wet, gaggy impressions. Instead we now have 3-D imaging that can instantly scan your teeth and send all the data directly to the lab where your appliance will be custom fabricated.
The best part about having a clean nightguard or appliance? You’ll be more likely to wear it consistently, and that helps us achieve our goals for you.
[dt_sc_team name=”Trish” degree=”” email=”” role=”Dental Hygienist” image=”https://rossendental.com/staff/trisha.jpg”]
15 Thoughts on “What’s the Easiest Way to Clean My Retainer or Nightguard?”
Good advice, since my last visit to your I have been trying these blue tablet things, which work fine, but tonight I’m doing the vinegar and peroxide thing. I’ll let you know how it goes.
How did the hydrogen pyroxide plus vinegar treatment work?
Thanks Trish. I have a night guard and your suggestion worked great.
Try this method: http://www.cleanguard.net
This product is the best one to clean your nightguard and you can buy directly from Amazon:
I find the idea of preparing your own cleaning products very interesting. It not only saves you money, but it also prevents you from using too much chemicals for your personal hygiene. I think your tips are really useful and I am going to tell my parents about that new way of for cleaning their appliances.
Doesn’t help if retainer os cemented in my mouth.
If u are chemical sensitive than none of the above methods will work. What u need to do instead is soak the night guards in vinegar. But what u also need to do is soak them in vinegar in a stainless steel cup or small dish. I use organic vinegar just to be safe. I only change the vinegar once a week. Therefore the organic vinegar doesn’t cost me that much. U can get it at whole foods. It’s best to buy the organic vinegar in a glass bottle instead of plastic bottle. The plastic can degrade into the vinegar if it gets too hot. With the glass there’s no worries.?
Forgot to mention that you need to brush your night guards with toothpaste before u go to bed. Also brush your teeth before u go to bed and when u get up. Also if u are chemically sensitive u need to use tom’s tooth paste without fluoride. It’s the whiteing one.
How do I keep my night guard submerged? If I leave it to soak, it floats up to the top of the container, so one side doesn’t get cleaned. thanks!
My higienist recommended brushing the retainers with regular dawn dish soap, has worked like a charm for me 🙂
My daughter got gum on her retainers how do I get it off? ?
good method to clean night guard
very good iformation
My sister got her teeth misaligned after getting a punch to a face while kickboxing yesterday. When I found your article on how to properly take care of retainers by lightly scrubbing it with a toothbrush, it made me think to get her retainers. I will help her by finding a dentist for her so that her teeth will be properly adjusted and be able to show her healthy smile during our winter family reunions.