Retainer Maintenance: To Soak or Not to Soak?
Oral Health Blog

Retainer Maintenance: To Soak or Not to Soak?


Retainers play a crucial role in maintaining your smile's alignment after orthodontic treatment. Proper care of your retainer is essential to ensure it remains effective and comfortable to wear. One common question that often arises is whether retainers should be kept in water. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of soaking your retainer in water and help you make an informed decision about its care.

Should You Soak Your Retainer in Water?

Pros of Soaking in Water:

  1. Hydration: Soaking your retainer in water helps prevent it from drying out. Dryness can lead to discomfort and may even cause warping or damage over time.

  2. Easy Cleaning: Water can help loosen debris and plaque from your retainer, making it easier to clean when you brush or rinse it afterward.

  3. Neutral pH: Water has a neutral pH, which means it won't harm the materials your retainer is made of, such as plastic or acrylic.

Cons of Soaking in Water:

  1. Bacterial Growth: While water can help with hydration, it can also become a breeding ground for bacteria if not changed regularly. Stagnant water may lead to unpleasant odors and potential health concerns.

  2. Taste and Odor: Retainers soaked in water might absorb some of the water's taste and odor, which can be off-putting when you put them back in your mouth.

  3. Cleaning Agents: Plain water lacks the cleaning power of specialized retainer cleaning solutions, which can effectively remove stains and bacteria.

Alternatives to Water Soaking:

  1. Retainer Cleaning Tablets: Consider using retainer cleaning tablets like B. Weiss retainer cleaner. These tablets are designed to clean, disinfect, and deodorize retainers effectively. They often have a minty or fresh taste, which leaves your retainer smelling pleasant.

  2. Retainer Cleaning Solutions: Retainer cleaning solutions are formulated to provide a deep clean, removing stains and bacteria without compromising your retainer's integrity.

  3. Regular Cleaning: The most essential aspect of retainer care is regular cleaning with a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild soap. This method ensures that your retainer stays clean and free from harmful bacteria.

How to Maintain Your Retainer

  1. Daily Cleaning: Brush your retainer daily using a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild, non-abrasive soap. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.

  2. Retainer Cleaner Tablets: Consider using retainer cleaning tablets like B. Weiss retainer cleaner. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimal results.

  3. Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your orthodontist or dentist to ensure your retainer fits correctly and remains effective.


So, should retainers be kept in water? While soaking your retainer in water can have benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks, such as the potential for bacterial growth and taste absorption. An effective alternative is using specialized retainer cleaning tablets or solutions designed to clean and disinfect your retainer. Additionally, regular cleaning with a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild soap remains a crucial step in maintaining your retainer's cleanliness and longevity.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE


The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.