It is time to celebrate! Your braces are off and your teeth are looking fantastic, but you’re not quite done yet. Dr. Snyder has made you a retainer that will be worn per his instructions (usually nightly). Just like your braces, your new appliance will need to be cleaned and cared for so you can maintain the beautiful smile you have achieved. If your retainer is not cleaned, dry saliva will cause tartar buildup on your retainer compromising your healthy, clean smile.
Cleaning Your Retainer
The recommended method for cleaning your retainer is:
Toothbrush And Toothpaste: While brushing your teeth at night, feel free to put a small dab of toothpaste on your retainer and brush away the saliva and bacteria. If you do this every night and then set your retainer in distilled water, your retainer should stay clean.
Baking Soda: There are other options if you feel that neither toothpaste or toothbrush are effectively cleaning your retainers. Baking soda is very useful in cleaning dental appliances. It will also help reduce the odor.
Denture cleaners: Denture cleaners that can be bought in the dental hygiene aisle are an excellent cleaning alternative for a retainer. Soak the retainer in the cleaner for the recommended time on the package, rinse or brush the retainer, and it is ready for another night’s wear.
Cleaning your retainer should not be a complicated or intense process. Just make sure you DO NOT:
- Boil your retainer or put it in the dishwasher. This will warp and shrink your retainer to the point that you can no longer use it.
- Use alcohol based products. Alcohol based products will dry your retainer and eventually cause it to crack.
- Use multi-purpose cleaners or bleach. These have harmful toxins that can damage the metal and acrylic properties of your retainer, and they will make you sick if they’re ingested. Leave those cleaners under the sink!
So Long, Farewell…
Not quite! You have worked so hard to get to this point. You will still need retainer checks at Snyder Orthodontics to make sure your teeth are still in their optimum alignment. If you have any questions or feel that you need a little help, contact us at (434) 632-4144! We would love to see you and help you take care of your beautiful smile!