How to Keep Retainers Clean and Safe

Your orthodontist has probably told you how important your retainers are to the long-term success of your treatment. They have probably told you wearing your retainers is crucial to maintaining your perfect smile, and they have probably given you advice on the proper care of them as well. Keeping your retainers maintained is a big factor in your treatment plan, so don’t ignore it. Here are our top tips on how to keep retainers clean and safe, so you can ensure they’re doing their job for life.

Proper Storage and Wear

It’s important to treat your retainers properly. After all, they have a big job to do, and it’s important they are kept in tip-top shape. Having a dedicated space for your retainers is going to be imperative in protecting them. The last thing you want to do is lose them, which can negatively affect your smile. Plus, when you lose your retainers, you run the risk of your teeth shifting until new retainers can be made. Avoid placing your retainers anywhere but their dedicated case. Don’t place them on a napkin or on the table next to you when you take them out to eat. This will only increase the risk of losing them.

It’s equally important to wear your retainers often. Make sure you listen to your orthodontist and wear them according to their instructions. Failure to do so may result in the need for more treatment, which isn’t something many patients want to do again.

Regular Cleaning and Care Keep Retainers Clean

Not only is it important to clean your teeth and gums properly, your retainers must also be cleaned regularly. Gently clean your retainers and don’t forget to clean the case, so bacteria doesn’t form in these areas. Options for cleaning your retainers include:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Certain mouthwashes
  • Retainer cleaner
  • Dawn dish detergent

It’s imperative to keep your mouth as clean as possible to avoid the build-up of bacteria in your mouth, your retainers and their case. Maintaining a clean environment makes it easy to take care of your retainers for life.

Eating and Drinking with Retainers

Patients should avoid eating and drinking while wearing their retainers to keep them clean and safe. Wearing your retainers while eating can damage them, stain them and make them more difficult to clean. Food particles may become stuck in the retainers, causing bacteria to form. Orthodontists advise that only water be consumed when wearing your retainers to avoid these problems.

A Safe and Clean Environment 

Maintaining a safe and clean environment not only helps you stay on track with your orthodontic treatment plan, it alleviates the risk of problems occurring, such as tooth decay and other more serious issues. Keep these tips in mind when you’re taking care of your retainers to ensure they stay in pristine condition. After all, they have the lifetime duty of ensuring your teeth stay perfect. Make their job easier by keeping them safe and clean.