How to Clean Retainers
Done with the braces? But, the road to a beautiful smile isn't that easy. You will have to wear a retainer to save the beautiful smile that you just got. Though retainers are used to avoid relapsing of teeth, it does much more than just holding your teeth.
A retainer has a myriad of other lesser-known benefits. However, the benefits come with some responsibilities as well, such as cleaning your retainer.
How to clean your retainer?
Cleaning your retainer is as important as brushing your teeth regularly. There are two types of retainers, removable and permanent. So, cleaning methods differ accordingly. Also, you must clean the retainer box because it can accumulate germs.
Water is the go-to way to clean your retainers. Drink plenty of water because it keeps both mouth and retainer moist. Also, it prevents tooth decay and mitigates the building up of germs.
You can also soak your retainer overnight in lukewarm water. Do not use hot water as it leads to warping.
Baking soda is a safe disinfectant. Create a paste with equal portions of water and baking soda and apply it on your retainer gently. It also controls germs without the use of harsh chemicals and helps to whiten a yellowed retainer.
Just as you clean your teeth with toothpaste, you can also clean your retainer with it. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-whitening toothpaste.
White vinegar is also a gentle cleanser. Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water, then soak the retainer for 20 minutes. And rinse with water.
If other options are not available, you can even use a mouthwash to clean your retainer. We recommend you to use a non-alcoholic mouthwash because alcohol can dry out both your mouth and the retainer. Also, do not soak it in mouthwash for more than 2-3 minutes.
If you don’t see any other options, then go for a denture cleaner. However, do not use it frequently as it turns the retainer yellow. Soak it for 20 minutes in the cleaner and rinse with water.
You can use the retainer cleaners available in the market. It’s best for those who don’t have the time or desire to prepare homemade cleansers. You can even ask your orthodontist to recommend a suitable cleaner specifically for your retainer.
Ways to clean permanent retainers
These retainers take extra effort for cleaning as you can’t remove them. You have to floss them in order to clean them.
- Take a 5-6 inch of floss and a floss threader to floss between your lower front teeth.
- Use the threader to hold one end of the floss and the other with your hand.
- Now gently move it between your teeth along the gum line.
- Repeat the process until each tooth is flossed.
Though the above-written methods are safe, if you observe any discomfort or have any doubt, you must talk to your orthodontist. Ask them for specific care and tips for your retainer.
Why should I wear a retainer?
Have you ever thought that a retainer can help resolve speech problems? Below are some other facts about wearing a retainer.
For some people, retainers help in improving their breathing. Specific kind of retainers not only holds the teeth but also helps with snoring or breathing at night.
Kills Bacteria and germs
Straighter teeth chew the food much better, which results in increased saliva creation. This means more enzymes, which eventually kills bacteria.
Helps with diabetes
According to orthodontists, people who wear retainers correctly have better oral health, which reduces the blood-related effects of diabetes.
Irons out speech difficulty
Retainers adjust the tongue in a way that helps a person sound correct.