Do you have a retainer that is beginning to smell or look an odd white color? If so, you need to be better at properly cleaning your retainer. In order to properly care and clean your retainer, please follow the following guidelines:
• Clean your retainer regularly: The reason your retainer is beginning to smell or look an odd white color is because the plaque and bacteria in your mouth is transporting from your teeth to your appliance. Because of this, it is very important to clean your retainer at least once a week. You can clean your retainer by soaking it in denture cleaner or non-alcoholic mouthwash. During the soaking, make sure to use warm, clean, and plain water—not hot, flavored, or dirty water.
• Keep your retainer in a safe place: Because your retainer is removable, it can be easy to misplace. Because of this reason, it is important that you keep your retainer in a safe, secure, and memorable place, which can be in places like in your bathroom drawer or in your backpack. Some places that are not recommended include: your pocket, lunch tray, or out in the open on your bathroom counter.
• Protect your retainer: In order to keep your retainer in the best shape possible, please keep it from hot or dry environments. If your appliance is introduced to hot places, like the dishwasher, washing machine, or direct sunlight, it can warp and melt. If your retainer is extremely dry, it can crack and break. To keep it from breaking or warping, put it in water, mouthwash, or denture cleaner often.
• Carefully remove and place your retainer: When removing or placing your retainer, make sure you do so in a gentle and accurate way. Many people like to flip the retainer with their tongue, which is an easy way to break the appliance. Also, please be careful to not ruin or bend the wires of the retainer.
• Don’t wrap your appliance in tissue: When brushing your teeth or eating, it is easy to wrap your retainer in a tissue or napkin. But, because the fibers stick to the appliance and make it difficult to clean, we ask that you refrain from doing so. It is also easy to accidentally throw your retainer away if it is covered by napkins and tissues.
For more details about cleaning and caring for your retainer, please feel free to call our office today and talk to your orthodontist. We look forward to helping you!