As with all dental appliances, retainers must be cleaned to prevent tartar build-up, rid the appliance of bacteria and remove stains. Failure to clean retainers regularly can result in an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. Vinegar is an effective and natural solution for removing tartar. It also helps with general cleaning and disinfecting of the retainer. Vinegar's acid content softens and digests the tartar on the retainer and kills lurking microorganisms.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a small glass jar. Make sure you have enough liquid to cover your retainer. Cover the jar and swish it around to mix the contents.
Place the retainer in the mixture. Allow it to soak for no more than 10 minutes. Longer soaking times could cause the retainer's metal wires to corrode.
Gently scrub any remaining tartar off your retainer with a toothbrush.
Repeat the cleaning process two or three times a week.