How to Clean & Sterilise Your Cheek Retractors Like a Champ?

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If you are someone who has used aligners in the past or is currently using aligners to fix your crooked teeth, then you might already know the importance of cheek retractors during your clear aligner journey.

For people who don’t know what a cheek retractor is, it is a dental device that keeps the soft tissues of your mouth away from your teeth for a better view of your teeth. This device is a boon for dentists and orthodontists as it helps them achieve accuracy when they perform orthodontic treatments.

In this blog, we will tell you how to sterilise plastic cheek retractors so that they last you for a long time.

How to use a cheek retractor the right way?

Using a cheek retractor is not rocket science. However, if you are a first-time user then here is how you can use it the proper way.

  • Hold your retractors and then squeeze them before placing them in your mouth. Note that if you are using makeO toothsi’s Grinny, then the smaller edge of the retractor goes inside and the bigger side remains outside.
  • Once the retractor is inside the mouth, gently release it and it will fit perfectly in your mouth.
  • Your mouth is now ready for you to take pictures of your teeth to track your teeth straightening journey progress. Make sure that you take multiple pictures from all angles to make your orthodontist’s job easy.
  • After this, simply squeeze your retractor and gently pull it out of your mouth.

Easy & Useful Tips To Clean & Sterilize Cheek Retractors

The best thing about cheek retractors is that they are reusable. If you take good care of them, they will last you for a long time. Clueless about how to clean and sterilise your plastic cheek retractors the right way?

Here are a few handy tips and tricks that will help you become a pro at maintaining your cheek retractors.

For cleaning

  • Firstly if you notice visible damage on your cheek retractors or if it is too worn out, it is best to discard it and invest in a new one.
  • You can rinse your retractors with soap and water. Make sure that you use lukewarm water and not hot water as that can damage your cheek retractors as they are made from plastic.
  • Experts advise people to try rinsing their cheek retractors with distilled or demineralised water if possible.
  • Make sure that you let the cheek retractors dry off completely before you store them in a proper case.
  • A pro oral hygiene tip is to always rinse your cheek retractors before and after using them.

For sterilising

  • Certain plastic and metal cheek retractors are often heat sterilised in an autoclave steriliser.
  • Typically, they are steam sterilised for about 20 minutes at 245ºF / 118ºC.
  • In most cases, the drying time for these retractors is about 15-30 minutes, depending on the type of steriliser that is used during the process.
  • Note that after sterilisation, you must keep the cheek retractors in their sealed packages and open them only when you want to use them next.

Get your teeth perfectly straightened with makeO toothsi

Looking for a hassle-free, convenient, and effective way to straighten your teeth? makeO toothsi clear aligners are what you must choose for an effortless smile correction journey from the comfort of your abode.

Our highly experienced orthodontists will first carefully evaluate your case and accordingly suggest a personalised treatment plan that will help you fix your teeth misalignment in no time.

Visit the makeO website to grab uber-cool and premium-quality oral hygiene products like electric toothbrushes, teeth whitening kits, chewies, retainers, and everything you would possibly need to achieve healthy gums and pearly whites.


Are cheek retractors reusable?

Yes, cheek retractors are reusable and last for a long time if you take proper care of them.

Are cheek retractors painful?

No, cheek retractors are not painful to wear. If you are someone who is using them for the first time then you might feel a slight discomfort at the beginning but you will adjust to it in no time.

What is a cheek retractor used for?

Cheek retractors are used to pull your cheeks away from your mouth and leave your mouth wide exposed while you take pictures of your teeth to track the progress of your teeth straightening journey.

Are cheek retractors used during teeth whitening treatments?

Yes, your dentist might use cheek retractors to hold your cheek away from your mouth and leave your mouth wide open during the teeth whitening procedure.

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