IF BRACES-WEARERS want to keep the results of their treatment long term, they should be carefully following the orthodontist’s instructions on how to use their retainers. Part of that isn’t just about wearing the retainers but about keeping them clean.
Why Do Retainers Need Cleaning?
Retainers are just as susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup as our teeth are, so they need to be cleaned just as diligently. If we don’t, they will quickly become filmy, smelly, foul-tasting, and covered in crusty white spots. Gross!
Removable Versus Permanent Retainer Care
For those with removable retainers, rinse them with cool water and brush them with gentle soap once (or more) a day. Permanent retainers can make flossing trickier but it’s important to persevere and floss around them even if it’s difficult because tartar can build up around them otherwise. Floss threaders can help with that!
Sometimes They Need a Deeper Clean
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to deep-clean that retainer, just like the hygienist deep-cleans our teeth at dental appointments. Do this with a simple mixture of water and baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Soak the retainer for a few minutes, then rinse and dry it. Never use hot water or harsh chemicals on a retainer!
Make sure to ask us the best way to store a removable retainer between uses, as this can vary by type.