How to Disinfect Your Retainer After Being Sick

By March 7, 2018 April 6th, 2018 Blog, Life After braces

Especially during cold and flu season, we get a lot of questions about how to disinfect your retainer. There are a few different ways that you can disinfect your retainer after being sick. There are also a few methods out there that should not be used. Let’s set the record straight as to which methods are acceptable for disinfecting retainers, and which ones are not.

How to Disinfect Your Retainer the Right Way

Simply clean your retainer using antibacterial dish soap or Listerine. Immediately rinse with warm (not hot) water. Do not soak your retainer in any type of cleaner for an extended period of time, as this could cause damage or discoloration. If you’ve contracted something very contagious (like mono or flu) and you want to be extra cautious, feel free to stop by our office. We can disinfect your retainer with a dental disinfectant.

How Not to Clean Your Retainer

The following methods are unacceptable, because they could cause your retainer to become damaged or discolored. These are huge no no’s:

  • Never place your retainer in hot water.
  • Never boil your retainer in an attempt to sterilize it.
  • Never put your retainer in the dishwasher.
  • Do not soak your retainer in mouthwash or denture cleaner.

Remember: Retainer replacements are expensive, so treat yours carefully. If your retainer gets damaged, contact our office right away. Once your retainer is disinfected, be sure to brush it with toothpaste on a daily basis to keep it nice and clean. Check out our previous post for day-to-day instructions on how to clean your retainer.

For additional tips on how to care for your retainer properly, please refer to our full list of Retainer Wear and Care Instructions.

Have questions about how to disinfect your retainer? Want to schedule an appointment with St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty? Contact us. Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email