Care for retainers and mouth guards: an overview for professionals

Woman holding retainer and smiling

Patient knowledge gaps in care of mouth guards & retainers

Mouth guards & retainers require specialist care to remove biofilms every day & prevent any implications for oral health. The range of materials used to form guards & retainers may become scratched if not cleaned appropriately, which can result in increased bacterial colonization.1

Many patients who wear a mouth guard or retainer do not have a regular approach to cleaning their appliances.2

Common cleaning methods for cleaning retainers or aligners in the US include:3

  • 41% of patients use toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 40% use toothbrush and water
  • 33% use denture cleanser tablets
  • 19% soak or rinse in water
  • 16% soak or rinse in mouthwash

Patient concerns include odour associated with their mouth guard or retainer and staining.4

Your advice to your patients can help them achieve a clean and fresh mouth guard or retainer for confidence.

  • The number of patients using removable appliances

    Appliance use

    Mouth guard and retainer use is common

    An estimated 350 million people worldwide use:3

    • Aligners for cosmetic enhancement
    • Retainers post orthodontic treatment
    • Night guards for management of nocturnal bruxism and TMJ dysfunction
    • Sports guards for protection during contact sports
  • Patients invest in their dental treatment

    Hourglass surrounded by gold coins

    Patients have made a commitment to their smile3

    Mouth guard and retainer wearers have often made a financial investment. Orthodontic treatment can cost up to £6,0005and can take up to 2 years6

  • Patients want to protect their smile

    Young people smiling in front of a tent

    Patients don’t want to put their smile in jeopardy4

    Patients value preserving their smiles. Odour and staining of mouth guard or retainer are key concerns4.


The Polident range

Find out how the Polident range can help your patients

Find out more


The science of cleansers

Find out more about the science of the Polident cleansers for removable appliances

Find out more


Patient care resources

Download resources for your patients

Find out more