How to Clean a Retainer with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

How to Clean a Retainer with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

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5 min read

Retainers are an essential tool in the world of orthodontics. They help maintain the alignment of teeth after braces have been removed, ensuring long-lasting results. However, it's crucial to clean your retainer regularly to keep it free from bacteria, plaque, and other microorganisms. While there are various methods for cleaning retainers, one of the most effective and convenient options is using an ultrasonic cleaner. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using an ultrasonic cleaner for retainer maintenance and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your retainer using this innovative device.


What is an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Retainers?

An ultrasonic cleaner is a specialized device that uses high-frequency sound waves to remove dirt, debris, and contaminants from various objects, including retainers. It works by creating ultrasonic vibrations in a liquid solution, generating millions of tiny bubbles that implode on the surface of the retainer, effectively dislodging and removing any buildup. These cleaners are equipped with a stainless steel tank, transducers, and sometimes a control panel that allows users to customize the cleaning process according to their preferences.


The Benefits of Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Retainer Maintenance

Using an ultrasonic cleaner for retainer maintenance offers several advantages over traditional cleaning methods. 

Deep Cleaning

Firstly, it provides a deep and thorough cleaning that can reach even the tiniest crevices and hard-to-reach areas of the retainer. This is especially beneficial as retainers are prone to accumulating plaque and bacteria due to their close contact with saliva and oral fluids.

A study conducted by the University College London Eastman Dental Institute found that 66.7% of retainers and retainer-wearing mouths contained Candida as well as traces of Staphylococcus.

Gentle Yet Powerful

Furthermore, ultrasonic cleaning is a gentle yet powerful process, ensuring that your retainer remains undamaged while effectively removing any build-up. This is particularly important as harsh cleaning methods or abrasive materials can cause wear and tear, compromising the functionality and lifespan of the retainer.

Kills Bacteria

Additionally, using an ultrasonic cleaner reduces the risk of contamination. The high-frequency sound waves produced by the device disrupt bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, effectively sanitizing the retainer and minimizing the chances of oral infections or complications. With 1 in 4 adults in the United States having untreated tooth decay, ensuring retainers and other oral appliances are kept bacteria-free are key ways to improve overall oral health. 


a retainer laying on a surface

How Do Ultrasonic Cleaners Work?

Understanding how ultrasonic cleaners work will help you gain a better insight into their cleaning capabilities

When the ultrasonic cleaner is turned on, it generates high-frequency sound waves, typically between 20,000 to 40,000 Hz. These sound waves create alternating positive and negative pressure waves in the cleaning solution.

This phenomenon, known as cavitation, causes millions of tiny gas-filled bubbles to form and collapse rapidly. As the bubbles implode, they release powerful shockwaves that dislodge and remove dirt, debris, and contaminants from the retainer's surface within the need of any abrasion. This process is highly effective and efficient, providing a thorough and deep cleaning in a relatively short amount of time.


Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Retainer with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Now that you understand the benefits and inner workings of an ultrasonic cleaner, let's delve into a step-by-step guide on how to clean your retainer using an ultrasonic cleaner. 

  1. Start by preparing the ultrasonic cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions. This may involve filling the stainless steel tank with a suitable cleaning solution or adding water and a sterilization tablet
  2. Ensure that your retainer is free from any loose debris or food particles before placing it in the ultrasonic cleaner. You can rinse it under warm water or gently brush it with a soft toothbrush.
  3. Place your retainer in the designated cleaning basket or holder, ensuring it is fully submerged in the cleaning solution.
  4. Turn on the ultrasonic cleaner and let it run for the specified duration. As the device generates ultrasonic vibrations, the bubbles created through cavitation will dislodge the dirt and contaminants from your retainer.
  5. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, carefully remove your retainer from the ultrasonic cleaner. Inspect it to ensure that all residue and buildup have been effectively removed.
  6. Rinse your retainer thoroughly under warm water to remove any traces of the cleaning solution.
  7. Pat your retainer dry with a clean towel or allow it to air dry before storing it in a hygienic case or container, such as the Zima Go.


lady holding a retainer

Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Ultrasonic Cleaner on Retainers

While ultrasonic cleaners provide an efficient cleaning solution for retainers, here are some additional tips to maximize their effectiveness:

  • Regularly clean your retainer using an ultrasonic cleaner to prevent the build-up of plaque, bacteria, and other contaminants.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines when selecting the appropriate cleaning solution for your retainer.
  • Ensure that your retainer is free from any loose debris before placing it in the ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Inspect your retainer after each cleaning cycle to ensure all residue has been effectively removed.


Choosing the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for Your Retainer

When selecting an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning your retainer, there are certain factors to consider. 

Firstly, ensure that the cleaner has an appropriate tank size to accommodate your retainer comfortably. Additionally, choose a cleaner with adjustable cleaning intensity and time settings to cater to your specific needs. It's also important to select a high-quality ultrasonic cleaner from a reputable brand. Reading customer reviews and consulting with dental professionals can help you make an informed decision. 

The Dental Pod is a dentist-recommended ultrasonic cleaner specifically designed for cleaning retainers and other oral appliances, leaving them free of bacteria and sparkling clean in just five minutes. It uses 42,000 hz ultrasonic waves that break down plaque, bacteria and other pathogens to support healthy oral hygiene and comes in a compact size to be easily used and stored within your home. 

zima dental pod and zima go

The Power of Ultrasonic Cleaning for Retainers

Cleaning your retainer with an ultrasonic cleaner is a convenient and effective method for maintaining oral hygiene and prolonging the life of your retainer. By utilizing the power of high-frequency sound waves and cavitation, you can achieve a deep and thorough cleaning, eliminating bacteria, plaque, and other contaminants. By incorporating an ultrasonic cleaner into your retainer maintenance routine, you can confidently preserve your orthodontic investment and enjoy a clean and healthy smile.


Discover the Dental Pod by Zima Dental

Never brush your retainer again with the Dental Pod, the ultrasonic cleaning machine from Zima Dental. Cleaning at 4,380 times per second, it’s an unbeatable retainer cleaner that beats traditional oral appliance cleaning methods. 

Get in touch with the Zima Dental team to find out more. Our customer care team will be happy to answer your questions and provide more details. Click here to get in touch.

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