Make sure your oral care routine covers everything. You know how important it is to clean your mouth on a daily basis. So why wouldn't you also clean the things you put in your mouth for a big part of the day? It's essential that you clean your retainer regularly to avoid common oral health problems and ensure your alignment issues are properly corrected.
How to Clean Your Retainer
You want your teeth to stay straight after your braces as well as stay clean. Follow these simple tips:
Toothpaste is good for your teeth but bad for your retainer. Most brands contain a mildly abrasive material that can damage the soft and delicate parts of the retainer.
Use Mild Household Cleaners
The best cleaners to use on your retainer are items that you probably already have in your home – liquid dish soap, hand soap, or baking soda. You only need a small amount for each cleaning.
Get a Dedicated Brush
You will need to brush the retainer itself to remove anything stuck on. Since you will be brushing with things you don't want on your teeth and tongue, get a dedicated toothbrush just for cleaning.
Boiling water is great for killing germs but can destroy your retainer. You should avoid hot water altogether because even mild warping of the plastic elements can compromise the retainer's treatment abilities.
It's possible for bleach to warp plastics elements and to wash out colors meant to mimic the look of your gums. It is also difficult to remove the unpleasant smell of bleach.
Put a Towel Down
Even a fall of a few inches out of your hand and into a ceramic or metal sink basin can do damage to your retainer. Put a towel in the basin while you're cleaning to avoid any costly accidents.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Keeping a clean retainer in a dirty mouth is impossible. Stay in the practice of brushing and flossing on a daily basis, rinsing the mouth after eating, and using mouthwash as necessary.
A retainer can pick up a lot of germs when it's sitting out in the open. There is also the risk that a pet could chew it up. When you're not wearing it, store it someplace secure and enclosed.
Take Your Retainer Out
You will need to wear your retainer a lot for it to effectively correct your alignment issues. But spending time with it out of your mouth is just as important for your treatment and your overall oral health.
The Happy Tooth is Here to Help Your Smile
If you are diligent about keeping a clean retainer, it becomes second nature and takes just a minute or two. To find out if a retainer or some other treatment method is the solution to your alignment issues, contact the North Carolina Happy Tooth office nearest you.