We really doubt you’d think it was normal not to brush your teeth for several days, but many people, during their orthodontic journey, wouldn’t bat an eye at not cleaning their retainer for an extended period of time. We’re not sure where this unseemly trend started, but we’re here to tell you just how important it is to properly disinfect your retainer to protect and maintain great oral health.
The best rule of thumb to follow is, when you brush your teeth, don’t neglect your retainer. Gently clean your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rinse both the retainer and brush thoroughly. Then, at least once a week, clean your retainer more thoroughly to ensure it stays in good shape.
How to Properly Clean Your Retainer
While water alone is not enough to clean your retainer, by staying hydrated you help reduce bacteria overgrowth and the incidence of dry mouth, which is a good way to prevent tooth decay. When you’re on the go and have limited cleaning opportunities, swish with water to ensure your retainer stays moist, lessening the likelihood it may become brittle and more prone to breaking.
This is a safe way to clean and disinfect your retainer. If you’ve noticed your retainer is taking on a yellowish tinge, baking soda can help restore its original colour. To use baking soda, create a paste that is half water and half baking soda (thick enough to stick to the retainer). Then, scrub the retainer gently and rinse it thoroughly when you’re done.
Create a half-and-half mixture of warm water and vinegar, and then leave your retainer in the solution for 20 minutes. As a part of this process, you can also gently brush the retainer to get rid of stuck-on stains.
If you don’t want to worry about creating your own cleaning solutions, retainer cleaners are an affordable and safe way to clean your retainer. Just make sure your retainer is compatible with the specific brand you’re using and follow the instructions carefully.
Visit Foley Wilde Orthodontics for further tips and tricks on getting – and keeping – a stunning smile.
We know your orthodontic journey can seem tedious at times. But, we want you to know we’re here to support you. Most important of all, your beautiful new smile is going to be well worth it. Contact our talented orthodontists today to learn more about how they can support you before, during and after you embark on your braces journey.