How to Clean a Retainer

Aerial view of a Hawley retainer after being cleaned

After an orthodontic treatment like braces, it’s important to wear your retainer as Dr. Stroope instructs. If you don’t, your teeth will most likely shift, which means you might need additional treatment down the road. You also need to keep your retainer clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria. If you don’t keep it clean, you increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

In this blog post, we share how to keep your retainer clean!

Rinse After Removing It

When you take out your retainer to eat or put in a mouthguard for sports, always rinse it with water. Developing this habit makes it easier to clean the retainer more thoroughly at a later time. We also recommend that you keep your retainer in its storage case whenever it’s not in your mouth. This will protect it from getting accidentally thrown away or broken, plus it will stay cleaner. Don’t forget to clean your case often, too!

Clean with Water & a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

To clean your retainer, use a soft-bristled toothpaste and clean, lukewarm water. Heat isn’t good for retainers, so avoid hot water. You should brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth.

Deep Clean Weekly

At least once a week, you should soak your retainer in a mixture of a denture or retainer cleaner or equal parts water and white vinegar. Make sure the retainer is thoroughly rinsed before returning it to your mouth.

Consult with Our Team!

After orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from settling back in their old positions. A clean retainer means a healthier smile, so don’t neglect caring for it! If you have additional questions about how to care for your smile after braces or if you have any problems with your retainer, please contact Farmington Dental & Orthodontics today!

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