Taking care of your oral hygiene is a tough job, especially when you’ve got braces, aligners, or retainers to worry about as well. Here are some tried and true methods to keep your retainers clean around the clock.
When to Clean Your Retainer
Cleaning your retainer regularly is extremely important. There are a few red flags that indicate bacteria or plaque is building up on your retainer. The first and most obvious warning signs are if your retainer smells or tastes bad in your mouth. Once removing the retainer from your mouth, look for cloudy spots, a thin buildup of film on the surface, or white spots from plaque or bacteria. These signs all indicate that the retainer is dirty and needs a thorough cleanse. Finally, as a good rule of thumb, even if there are no visible symptoms, it’s a good idea to brush your retainer every morning.
How to Clean My Retainer
Picking the right way to clean your retainer is just as important as spending the time cleaning your teeth correctly. The simplest way to clean your retainer, especially on the go, is to use clean running water to rinse it off. Retainers are made of porous materials, so drinking a lot of water to counteract any other drinks like soda or coffee will go a long way in keeping your retainer clean and odor-free.
Brushing your retainer is the first place to start. Use your toothbrush to gently brush any plaque or food gunk off your retainer. You can even use toothpaste, but a non-whitening toothpaste. Afterward, remember to rinse thoroughly. Denture cleaning tablets are a good next step. Dissolve one in distilled water and let your retainer soak for 10-15 minutes.
In a similar vein, mouthwash is designed to combat mouth bacteria and is a good alternative when available. Also, pure baking soda has good disinfectant properties and can be used to clean your retainer.
Never use hydrogen peroxide to clean your retainer. Retainers are porous and can absorb the chemical, which is extremely toxic to humans.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you have any questions about oral hygiene, feel free to contact Drs. Savage, Sabol, and Visser to learn more. With four convenient locations around Virginia Beach and one office in Onley on the eastern shore of Virginia, it’s never been easier to get started on your journey to an amazing smile today.