Retainers are great because they help you retain your beautiful new smile after you’ve used braces. However, they can get pretty funky from sitting in your mouth for extended periods of time, so keeping them clean is imperative.
What are some of the easiest ways to ensure your retainer will always be as clean as possible? We’ve compiled a list of tips below to help you get started, but if you have any questions about the very best methods for keeping these dental products bacteria-free, consulting with your dentist or orthodontist is recommended.
To effectively keep your retainer free of plaque, tartar, and bacteria, you need to clean it based on the type of retainer that you’ve been given.
To wash it daily, don’t rinse it using hot water. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, making sure to be gentle as you work on removing food particles. Regular toothpaste isn’t recommended, as it’s too abrasive, so just use the brushing action and lukewarm water.
Beyond that, you can soak it on a regular basis in a denture cleaner. And, after you disinfect it, you should store it in a case to protect it until you need to wear it again.
Only need to wear your Essix during the night? Then simply rinse it thoroughly with some cold water prior to putting it into your mouth. Then, when you take it out the next morning, just rinse it the same way again.
However, if you do wear it while you eat, you should gently brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water after every meal (don’t use toothpaste, and don’t use hot water). That’ll help ensure it doesn’t sit in your mouth with food particles stuck to it, which would be yucky. And, on a regular basis, you can even use a special cleanser to deeply disinfect this retainer.
Side note: Whether you have a Hawley or Essix, washing it right after you take it out of your mouth can be easier because it will still be wet from your saliva, so the debris won’t have a chance to harden. When brushing these retainers, you can also get a deeper clean by mixing together some mild dish soap and lukewarm water.
To keep it hygienic, daily flossing will be necessary. You can get a floss threader to make the process easier, and it’s a great idea to ask your orthodontist for expert advice on how to do it right. It might take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of things, you’ll be able to keep this retainer super clean.
Note: If you start noticing things like cloudiness, white spots, or a film on your retainer, or if it has a nasty taste or smell, these are signs that you need to perform a more intense cleaning.
Your retainer will help you achieve the perfect smile that you want, so take good care of it! Wash it every time you brush your teeth, and give it a deeper cleaning regularly, such as weekly.
For additional guidance, have a chat with your orthodontist about how to keep your retainer spotless. You can even ask about natural solutions, such as baking soda and white vinegar, that would be appropriate for your type of retainer. Also, if there’s debris on it that you can’t seem to remove on your own, it’s time to take it to your orthodontist, who has special solutions on hand.
With the right technique, tools, and routine, you can rest assured that your retainer will always be sanitary and won’t contribute to the development of oral health problems like cavities or gum disease. And with the right dental insurance, your orthodontics treatments won’t break the bank, so be sure to check out some of the Spirit plans that are available today!