Since your retainer goes in your mouth, and your teeth are in your mouth, it seems to make sense that you would be able to clean your retainer with the same toothpaste that you clean your teeth with. After all, toothpaste has all kinds of good cleaning elements. In fact, let's take a look at exactly what toothpaste is made up of, and then we'll see if it's what you need to clean your retainer with as well as your teeth. Of course, you can always use the CustMbite All Natural Oral Appliance Cleaner, which is made to clean retainers and other oral appliances.

What exactly is toothpaste made of?

While people have been using toothpaste of one type or another for thousands of years, the current basic formula has been around since the 1940s. You can find toothpaste with certain specialty ingredients such as those for whitening teeth or for sensitive teeth, but the following elements are found in virtually all cavity-fighting toothpaste.

  • Fluoride
    Fluoride plays the starring role when it comes to fighting cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth, which makes them less susceptible to cavities and less likely to wear down from acidic food and drinks. Only toothpaste with fluoride qualifies for the ADA's Seal of Acceptance.
  • Abrasives
    Abrasives play an active role in cleaning your teeth, but they are considered an inactive ingredient in toothpaste because they don't reduce your risk for cavities or gum disease. They're still essential, though, because they help remove food debris and surface stains from your teeth.
  • Flavors
    Fluoride and abrasives work great to clean your teeth, but they don't taste very good. That's why the vast majority of toothpaste includes flavoring from sweetening agents like saccharin or sorbitol. While these ingredients may give toothpaste a sweet or minty flavor, they don't have sugar, so they don't contribute to tooth decay at all.
  • Humectants
    Humectants are the ingredients that prevent your toothpaste from drying out and getting crumbly. Since sorbitol is both a sweetener and a humectant, you'll find it in a lot of toothpaste products. It keeps the liquid and the dry parts of toothpaste well mixed so you get a smooth, creamy paste when you squeeze the tube.
  • Detergents
    Detergents give your toothpaste a nice, foamy consistency when you brush your teeth. In addition to making you feel like you're really cleaning your teeth, the foam ensures the other active ingredients coat all of the parts of your teeth.

So, can I clean my retainer with toothpaste?

Because you get fluoride in toothpaste, there's really no need to get more fluoride via your retainer cleaner. A nice, minty-fresh flavor is a definite plus in a retainer cleaner, so that aspect of toothpaste is a plus. There's also no downside to having a foamy cleaner for your retainer, so detergents wouldn't be a drawback to cleaning your teeth with toothpaste.

The one ingredient in toothpaste that you definitely wouldn't want to use to clean your retainer is the abrasives. While the abrasives in toothpaste are necessarily gentle, they are not gentle enough to clean your retainer without leaving small scratches that are too small for you to see. The problem with these small scratches is that they invite bacteria to wedge into your retainer and stay. Not only does the bacteria make your retainer unhealthy, but it also causes unsightly stains.

So the bottom line is, no, you should not use toothpaste to clean your retainer. You should also not use toothpaste to clean your other oral appliances, such as dentures, snore guards, sports mouthguards, dental bridges, or others.

What should I use to clean my retainer?

The CustMbite All Natural Oral Appliance Cleaner is made specifically to clean retainers and other oral appliances. It is easy to use — just spray, wipe, and rinse, and your retainer is clean and sanitized and ready to use. Its minty flavor freshens your mouth as well as toothpaste without the abrasives. The CustMbite All Natural Oral Appliance Cleaner is made in the U.S.A. according to U.S. standards so you can be sure it's a quality product.

Order the best retainer cleaner online today and you won't have to use messy, abrasive toothpaste to clean your retainer or other oral appliances anymore.