• Sandygate Dental Practice

Why you should deep clean aligners and retainers

If you’re wearing a bedtime, daytime, anytime aligner or retainer it is very important you take the time to give your appliance a good old clean once in a while. Germs and bacteria build up on the surface of your braces every second of every day - and that isn’t an exaggeration! Cleaning your braces is really important and we are sure you can see why. Nonetheless, we see many patients who neglect their cleaning routine, leaving their retainers and aligners covered in hard-to-remove plaque and tartar. Here’s all you need to know on your deep cleans.

Why is cleaning so important?


We are sure our dentist in Sheffield covered most of this when you visited the practice, but let's recap. Most cases of gum disease and tooth decay come from people who haven’t paid enough attention to their oral health routine and for those of us who wear aligners or retainers this includes their upkeep. It’s so easy to just chuck your retainer back in its box after you’ve worn it overnight or just give your aligners a quick rinse once a day. But this is a serious mistake and not good practice.


The surface of your aligner sits flush against your teeth, and gums, it is literally a little greenhouse for sprouting germs. So whenever you remove your aligners to eat, drink or clean you should be giving them a rinse under cold water, before popping them back in. If you don’t do this, tartar and plaque will very quickly build up on the surface of your appliance. This will then sit against your teeth and multiply more and more. Plaque and tartar are the leading causes of gum disease and decay, often patients who neglect a good clean, finish their straightening treatment, then have to go and be treated for these conditions.


How to clean


When it comes to the best way to clean aligners the jury is often split, we recommend using either a clear non-toxic soap or a small amount of neutral-coloured toothpaste. Always best to check the ingredients as some products can cause staining or damage to the aligners. If you’re really unsure you can always ask our dentist in Sheffield when you come and see us at the practice.


We would always highly recommend investing in some form of cleaner for your aligners such as Invisalign cleaning crystals or denture cleaning solution. These products are specially designed to clean aligners and also give them back their shine - they are very easily available now with most supermarkets, pharmacies and online stores stocking them. This shouldn’t be used as a sole cleaning solution, but will help give back the super shine you’re after.


If you're interested in having your teeth straightened or are in need of new retainers come and see us at Sandygate Dental. Our dentist in Sheffield will have all the information you need on the best options available to you and will happily answer any questions you have on the cleaning process, and taking care of your teeth.