by Christian Lawson January 26, 2024 4 min read

Dr. Chloe Harrington-Taylor: Best Young Dentist South West & Wales 2022 (UK)


Dr. Chloe Harrington-Taylor: I often come across patients who do not know how to clean their retainers properly. The Dental pod cleans retainers quickly and efficiently and you don’t need to worry about damaging your appliance. I recommend that you use the Dental pod to regularly clean your retainer.

Click here to order your Dental pod now for a sparkling clean retainer!

Dr. Harrington-Taylor, what experience do you have with retainers?

I graduated from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2013, where I received a distinction in restorative dentistry and was awarded the prestigious British Society for Restorative Dentistry Prize.

I have treated thousands of patients with Invisalign followed by retainers to hold the result.

I recently won the Best Young Dentist South West & Wales 2022 (UK).

Please click the following link to find my current practice, Lodge Dental.

I also practice in Hereford and Cheltenham.


Do I really need to clean my retainer?

Bacteria found on your teeth can grow on your retainer.

Putting a dirty retainer in your mouth is like applying bacteria and plaque directly to your teeth.

A study using microscopes to look at dental plastics found that they can be heavily colonised by bacteria after 1 hour of use.

You should not believe the following retainer cleaning myths:

  • Retainers are clean, as long as you regularly brush your teeth and do not eat when wearing a retainer
  • You need to allow good bacteria to develop on your retainer, and cleaning disrupts these bacteria

I recommend that you clean your retainer regularly using the Dental pod to avoid the following key indicators of a dirty and unsafe retainer:

  • Your retainer smells or tastes bad
  • There is a film on your retainer
  • Your retainer looks cloudy
  • There are white spots on your retainer

What are ultrasonic retainer cleaners?

The Dental pod is an ultrasonic retainer cleaner.

An ultrasonic cleaner is a vibrating water bath.

The Dental pod uses high-frequency 42,000 Hz ultrasonic waves to vibrate a cleaning solution and produce millions of nano-scale bubbles.

The intense vibrations and millions of bubbles deep clean your retainers at a microscopic level.

Is an ultrasonic retainer cleaner necessary?

Old methods of cleaning retainers aren’t effective at removing bacteria and plaque that could be harmful to your health.

A study using microscopes to look at dental plastics found that traditional cleaning methods, such as rinsing with water and soaking in a chemical solution, remove significantly fewer microorganisms than ultrasonic cleaning with a sterilising tablet.

Debris and microorganisms are found in the rough surfaces of your retainer which are hard to clean with traditional methods.

The Dental pod is able to deep clean these hard-to-reach areas of your retainer.


Do ultrasonic retainer cleaners actually work?

The British Dental Journal stated that the Dental pod is a convenient way to deep clean oral appliances.

Research has found that ultrasonic cleaners cleaned dental plastics better than traditional cleaning methods including rinsing with water and soaking with a chemical solution.

A study found that ultrasonic cleaners are significantly more effective at cleaning retainers than brushing.

Another study found that ultrasonic cleaning enhances traditional methods to clean retainers soaked in tea for 28 days.

That is why I suggest using sterilising tablets with the Dental pod.

Is it safe to clean my retainer with an ultrasonic cleaner?

    The continued use of an ultrasonic cleaner with your retainer does not cause any damage over time.

    The ultrasonic cleaning method is completely non-abrasive, it has been widely used and trusted within the clinical dental and medical fields for decades.

    Retainers can be damaged by excessive heat.

    This is why it is important to purchase an ultrasonic cleaner that is specifically designed for oral appliances like the Dental pod, as other models can generate heat which can damage dental plastics.


    Are ultrasonic cleaners safe for my type of retainers?

    The Zima Dental team have tested the following types of retainer to make sure they can be safely and effectively cleaned:

    retainers Dental pod

    How do ultrasonic cleaners clean my retainer?

    Ultrasonic cleaners generate high-frequency vibrations. Vibrations clean your retainer in two ways:

    1. The liquid is forced against the surface of your retainer when vibrating, deep cleaning the appliance. 

    2. Tiny bubbles formed by the intense vibration of the cleaner rapidly expand and collapse, releasing a large amount of energy, continuously scouring and smashing the grime, bacteria and plaque while being non-abrasive to your retainer.

    In the Dental pod, the 2nd action (called ‘cavitation’) occurs on average 4000 times per second. All surfaces and gaps of your retainer are continuously cleaned in a short but thorough cleaning cycle.

    The combination of these cleaning techniques means the 
    Dental pod is able to deep clean the hard-to-reach areas of your retainer.

    Is it easy to clean my retainer with an ultrasonic cleaner? 

    There are only 4 simple steps to clean your retainer with an ultrasonic cleaner:

      Fill the Dental pod with room temperature water and plug it into a wall socket.

      Drop in a sterilising tablet to increase the cleaning effect. 

      • Place your retainer in the water

        Drop your retainer into the water in the Dental pod.

        Your retainer must be fully submerged in the liquid to receive the full effects of ultrasonic cleaning.

          Put the lid on the Dental pod, turn the machine on and let it run for 5 minutes.

          Studies have shown that 5 minutes is the perfect amount of time to leave your oral appliance in the cleaner.

          • Retrieve your clean retainer from the Dental pod

            Your retainer will now be sparkling clean!

            I hope that youre now more confident about taking care of your retainer. If you need more advice, please dont hesitate to contact Zima Dental customer support at

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