How to Clean Your Retainer

how to clean your retainerGood oral hygiene is super important during orthodontic treatment. Even after your braces are taken off, you still need to clean and care for your retainer—the orthodontic appliance that keeps your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. To maintain your beautiful smile long-term, it’s important that you wear your retainer for life. It’s also important that you take the time to learn how to clean your retainer properly.

Why Is It So Important to Clean Your Retainer?

Your mouth contains food debris as well as bacteria, plaque, and tartar. These things attach themselves to your retainer every time you wear it. Without proper cleaning, this can lead to debris hardening, plaque buildup, and unpleasant tastes and odors. Cleaning your retainer regularly will help minimize plaque and odors. It will also help you get the longest life out of your appliance.

How to Clean Your Retainer

Here are some helpful guidelines on how to clean your retainer properly:

  • Clean your retainer thoroughly once a day, every day.
  • Clean it immediately, as soon as you take it out of your mouth.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Use warm but not hot water.
  • Avoid whitening toothpastes, because they are abrasive and may scratch the finish on your retainer.
  • Do not soak your retainer in any type of mouthwash or denture cleaner, because this can cause discoloration.
  • If you see calcium deposits on your retainer that don’t come off with brushing, contact Dr. Dougherty for help.

More Info on How to Care for Your Retainer

Remember to take your retainers out while eating or playing sports, and always put them back into their case! For more helpful information on how to care for and store your retainer, check out our previous post: Retainer Wear and Care Instructions.

Have questions about how to clean your retainer? Think your child may need braces? Contact us. Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email info@doughertyorthodontics.com to schedule a consultation with St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty.

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