Retainers are an integral part of orthodontic treatment. Without them, teeth may move back to their original positions after your braces come off. That’s why it’s crucial to wear yours throughout the retention phase of treatment. The length of this phase depends on the type of treatment and severity of the issues.
No matter how long you wear your retainers, you need to clean them thoroughly every day. Just like your teeth can collect bacteria and build up plaque from food, retainers can get equally as dirty in your mouth. Below are some tips to clean your retainers.
Brush after meals.
After eating, remove your retainers and brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water. Gently scrub to remove plaque and food particles caught in your mouth. Be sure to never put your appliances in hot water as it may warp the material.
Use mild dish soap instead of toothpaste.
While toothpaste may be the easiest to use, mild dish soap may be safer. Toothpastes may be more abrasive to your appliance. You should also wash your storage case once a day as well.
Soak in denture cleaner.
For a deeper clean, you may even wish to soak your appliances in denture cleaner. If you use this option, be sure to follow the instructions and remove them from the cleaning solution as instructed.
No matter how you clean your retainers, remember to keep them away from extreme heat and strong chemicals. If your material becomes warped, you may need to pay for a new set of retainers. If you have any questions about the retention phase or need help with a broken or warped appliance, contact our office immediately. While you may not want to pay for a new set, continuing to wear a broken appliance may cause your treatment time to lengthen. This can mean additional treatment time and even more associated costs down the road.