BRUSHING and flossing your teeth is hard enough without a third step to consider.
For those who also have to worry about their retainers, there are a few simple hacks to keep them shiny and clean – just like those pearly whites.
How do I clean my retainer?
There are a number of easy ways one can go about cleaning a retainer.
One way to clean your retainer is by simply rinsing it with lukewarm water and brushing it gently with dish soap, according to WedMD.
Baking soda, vinegar or denture cleaners can also be used.
As per Central Coast Orthodontics: “Typically, the ‘bad guys’ that cause trouble in the mouth thrive in a more acidic environment, and baking soda combats this problem by neutralising the pH of the mouth and rebalancing the oral microbiome. Likewise, baking soda can also disinfect retainers by virtue of its higher pH.”
However, each hack depends on the type of retainer in question – so it is always recommended that you check with your orthodontist before diving in.
What should I avoid using on retainers?
There are some key things you should avoid when trying to clean retainers:
- Boiling water or other heat – like forgetting them in a hot car or putting them in the dishwasher – which can cause them to deform
- UV light sanitizers
- Bleach, alcohol and other harsh chemicals
How often should I clean my retainer?
Retainer users should aim to clean their hardware at least once a day.
Deep cleanings should be executed once a week to make sure that any bacteria in your retainer is disinfected.
Killing harmful bacteria can eliminate bad taste on retainers and smells in the mouth, as well as prevent a layer of film on the retainers or a cloudy appearance.
How can I maintain my retainers?
Besides cleaning your retainers, it is important to keep them in shape and out of harm’s way as they can be expensive to replace.
Here are a few tips to remember:
- Always carry your retainer case with you and keep it clean
- Always wash your hands before and after handling your retainer
- Always brush or rinse your mouth after eating or drinking and before putting your retainer back on
- Keep your retainer away from heat or direct light
- Keep your retainer away from animals or small children