How to Keep Your Teeth Clean When Wearing A Retainer
There’s no doubt that more people are embracing orthodontic treatment because there are so many different brace systems to choose from. As an orthodontist we’re treating more adults than ever before, thanks to discreet methods of teeth straightening that systems such as Invisalign aligners provide.
Here are six tips for people to make sure their retainers are clean and free from bacteria.
1. Water for cleaning on the go
Water will not clean a retainer on its own, but drinking plenty of water during the day can prevent bacteria overgrowth. Keeping a retainer moist will help prevent damage. Water also combats a dry mouth, which is linked to tooth decay.
If a retainer feels dirty, you can try swishing some water in their mouth a few times.
Soda and other sugary drinks can affect a retainer, just as they affect the teeth. People should take their retainer out before enjoying a sugary drink and before eating anything.
Retainers that dry out are more prone to damage. As a result, people should not allow this to happen, especially overnight. Instead, when you clean your retainer in the morning, leave it wet when you pop it away in its box.
When brushing teeth, people should brush their retainer as well. It is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-whitening toothpaste. Afterward, remove the retainer and rinse it thoroughly.
People should brush their teeth again after removing the retainer, to clean any areas covered by it.
3. Denture cleaner
It is safe to clean a retainer with denture cleaner, from time to time, particularly if no other option is available.
To clean with a denture cleaner, people should rinse the retainer and then allow it to soak in the denture cleaner for about 20 minutes. After taking it out, they should then gently scrub it with a soft toothbrush.
If the retainer tastes like denture cleaner afterward, rinsing should continue until it no longer does.
Mouthwash is designed to combat plaque, bacteria, and other deposits in the mouth. It can also clean a retainer if other options are not available.
Using mouthwash to clean a retainer every time is not ideal and may not clean it thoroughly enough. Mouthwash, containing alcohol, can also dry out both a retainer and the mouth.
If no other options are available, people can try dipping a retainer in non-alcoholic mouthwash for 2-3 minutes, rinsing with cold water, then gently brushing with a soft toothbrush.
5. Retainer cleaner
Some manufacturers offer retainer cleaners. For people who do not have the time or desire to make their own solution, these products are an affordable option.
It is important to follow the directions on the packaging. A few types require the use of a sonic cleaning machine or overnight soaking. Others should not be used on certain types of retainers, or for people with sensitive teeth or gum disease.
An orthodontist may be able to recommend a retainer cleaner that meets individual needs. So, make sure to get in touch with Northenden House Orthodontics today at 0161 884 1481 for more information.
- Mohammad Malik