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Retainer Brite: Instructions, Review, and Does it Work?

By: Dr. Nathan Coughlin

Retainers are a vital part of orthodontics, and Retainer Brite can help keep your removable appliances clean. We spend a lot of time and money to achieve a beautiful smile, but it’s all for nothing if you do not maintain your teeth’ position.

Wearing retainers has always been very natural for me, but keeping them clean has been a struggle. 

I would typically just wash my retainers with some water and store them away. I want my retainers to be cleaner; therefore, I tried Retainer Brite cleaning tablets. 

Retainer Brite is not a natural solution to keeping retainers clean, but it is a widely used product, and so I wanted to give it a try. 

Retainer brite instructions

Retainer Brite comes in various packages. The one I chose came with ninety tablets. They claim to be able to clean any removable orthodontic appliances.

The instructions are straightforward.

  1. Add warm water to a glass or nonstick bowl. The water should be warm but not boiling. If the water is too warm, you can distort your retainers.
  2. You then put one tablet followed by your retainers in the solution. It will start to effervesce and clean your appliances. 
  3. We wait fifteen minutes for the solution to fully clean your retainers.
  4. After fifteen minutes, you vigorously wash your appliances underwater. 

After the retainers were cleaned with the solution, I washed my retainers for a few minutes to ensure no solution remained on the retainers. 

Retainer brite cleaner: does it work?

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when it came to the efficacy of Retainer Brite. I have not done a great job of keeping my retainers clean, and therefore, there was a lot of tartar buildup. 

After the fifteen minutes were up and I washed the retainers thoroughly, I was impressed by how much tarter came off.

My retainers did not look new, but the majority of the tarter was off. The retainers still looked a little scratched, but that’s from years of use.

As far as cleanliness, the Retainer Brite solution worked very well.

Retainer brite concerns

My main concern when it comes to using any chemicals is the effects on our bodies. The solution covers the retainers and likely gets into the plastic and acrylic.

I tried to remove all the solution but cannot be sure everything was entirely removed. 

You can also try a natural alternative to retainer brite.

  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a small glass of water.
  2. Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in that solution.
  3. Add your retainers and let them sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove retainers and rinse thoroughly. 

The mixture of baking soda and vinegar is a more natural alternative to Retainer Brite. It may not work as well, and if you do not clean your retainers thoroughly, they will retain some of the scents of vinegar. 

Retainer brite cleaning tablets

Retainer Brite is an excellent solution to plaque and tartar buildup on your removable appliances.

I used the solution for my Essix style retainers, and it worked well. I believe cleaning your retainers with a soapy water solution after every use is the best way to keep your retainers clean, but if you do not clean them properly, Retainer Brite can help get you back on track.

If you have any questions about your retainers or come in for a consult, please let us know. See you soon! 

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