Helpful Tips to Clean your Retainers

Wearing a retainer is absolutely important for keeping the teeth straight after dental braces are removed. Regardless of the type of retainers being used, maintaining them is a huge factor in a treatment plan. It is not only a good hygiene practice but ensures that your teeth remain straight for years, so don’t ignore it. Not taking proper care of your retainer can promote the growth of harmful bacteria present in the mouth causing serious health concerns so we have some tips to clean your retainers.  That is why cleaning your retainer every day is just as vital as cleaning your teeth. If you are getting used to your new device, and need a few helpful tips for keeping it clean and safe, read on this informative blog.

Common Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Clean your Retainer

Wearing a retainer is vital to the health and movement of your teeth. And, keeping the device clean and safe is extremely essential for maintaining dental health.  Are you wondering how to know it’s time to clean your retainer?  Listed below are a few signs that mean your retainer needs cleaning.

  • It tastes as well as smells bad 
  • It feels uncomfortable to wear 
  • It looks cloudy 
  • There are a few white spots on it 
  • It’s been over a week since you last cleaned it 

If see any of these above-mentioned signs, it is ideal to give your device a thorough cleaning. Additionally, you fail to maintain your retainer, it may also show signs like breaking or cracking. 

Helpful Tips to Clean your Retainers And Keep Mouth Happy

As you already know that a retainer is a device that goes inside your mouth and comes into direct contact with your teeth. That means plaque, tartar and dangerous bacteria can quickly accumulate inside of the device if it is not cleaned properly and regularly. Listed down are a few tips to help you understand how to keep your retainer clean. 

1. Clean it like Brushing and Flossing Regularly

First thing first, cleaning your retainer on a regular basis by gently brushing them using a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water is an important step. Do not use any toothpaste or anything abrasive to brush your retainer as it will scratch it, causing harmful bacteria to accumulate and make it appear cloudy. Also, make sure that you are using the brush only for retainer cleaning and not for your teeth. This is one of the most effective tips to keep your retainer clean and maintained for a long period.

2. Deep Cleaning on a Weekly Basis

People wearing retainers should make it a habit of cleaning their retainers deeply on a weekly basis to get rid of stubborn hardened tartars, settled plaques and to remove the bacteria and germs that cause bad breath. Apart from this, deep cleaning also helps you to keep your device in a tip-top shape and safeguard its clarity and colour. Given below are simple yet effective deep cleaning steps

  • Prepare a mixture of a little amount of castile soap and lukewarm water and soak your retainer into that mixture for some time. Using castile soap is an effective way to clean your retainer deeply. Scrub the device gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse well before wearing it.  
  • Combine equal amounts of water and vinegar and soak the retainers in the mixture for a few minutes based on the level of plaque and tartar. Again, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the retainer and rinse it before wearing it. 
  • Soak the device in non-alcoholic mouthwash for 5 to 10 minutes to get rid of the bad odour in the retainer.  Using alcohol-based mouthwash can be dangerous to your health as well as can cause damage to your retainer.

3. Invest in a Protective Retainer Case

Most retainers are removable, which means they can easily be taken out when eating, brushing and flossing. And since they can be taken out, removable retainers can be easily misplaced. A protective retainer case not only protects your retainer from being misplaced but also keeps your retainer clean from dirt, dust and other harmful stuff from outside of your mouth.

4. Replace if Needed

A retainer is a costly device, but like other appliances, it is going to break down. Just like contact lenses and footwear, because of normal wear and tear, it becomes loose-fitting and needs to be replaced repeatedly. And if properly taken care of, they can last for a long time before needing a replacement.

The Takeaway

So, if you came here looking for tips to keep your retainer fresh and clean, we hope this post did not disappoint. The tips and tricks mentioned in this blog are general, so it is always best to ask your dental professional for specific cleaning and care instructions for your device. Cleaning and maintaining your retainer is not only important to prevent diseases but also extend the life of your device.