Proper storing and taking care of your retainers will guarantee its long life. The more efficient you care for them, the better it will treat you and offer more benefits—a straight, healthy, and pretty smile for a lifetime.
Basic Rule for Retainer Care
If you know how to keep your retainers in good condition, you can ensure that your retainer stays in tip-top shape and your teeth looking as perfect as ever.
Here are some basic rules of thumb to remember:
1. Never Eat While Wearing Your Retainers
Clear retainers are becoming more popular now and most people are tempted to eat while they still have them on. After all, who would want to pause a meal or a conversation just to pop their retainer out before taking a bite of that delicious sandwich? Still, your retainer needs to be taken out while eating.
Find a private moment or an area where you can take them out to make sure that they don’t get damaged. Wearing retainers while drinking or eating is a recipe for oral health complications. Foods and plaque are more likely to get trapped in-between your teeth, leaving your retainer in an ugly look.
2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
When cleaning your retainers, water and toothpaste should be enough. When soaking your retainers, you can use a mixture of denture tablets, mild vinegar, or baking soda with water. Never use bleach, alcohol-based mouthwash, or any other harsh products since these products can damage the plastic, or worse, your mouth. Another no-no is boiling your retainer. The hot water can warp the metal and melt the plastic of your retainers.
3. Remove Your Retainer When Brushing
Never in any way brush your teeth with your retainers on. Doing this will prevent you from having your teeth cleaned thoroughly, and it will also make brushing the corners of your retainers impossible. The toothbrush may also displace your retainer by accident. Instead, you can brush and floss your teeth once you have removed your retainer, and brush the retainer separately.
How to Clean Your Retainer
Ideally, you need to clean and brush your retainer daily, each time you brush your teeth. Doing so ensures that there is no plaque or bacteria buildup, which can lead to various oral health complications.
- Remove your retainer from your mouth
- Using cool tap water, rinse the retainer
- Gently brush your retainer with toothpaste to remove any buildup
- Rinse the retainer thoroughly with a cool tap water
Storing Your Retainer
Once your retainer is cleaned, let it air dry and immediately put it back in your mouth or store it back into its case. Make sure that the container is dry since the moist environment is also a dwelling place for bacteria. Don’t simply wrap it in a tissue while you eat or leave it lying on the bathroom counter. Those are guaranteed to damage your retainer or make you lose them by accident.
Also, keep your retainer away from places or areas where it’s hot, such as near the stove, or in the car on a sunny day. The heat can easily warp the plastic, resulting in damage to your retainer.
With the right retainer care and storage, you can guarantee a lifetime of straight, pearly white teeth.
If you are looking to learn more about oral health, get in touch with the Dental House in Ann Arbor MI today! We’re happy to help.