Cleaning and caring for retainers

Wearing a retainer will help you maintain your new smile. Both permanent and removable retainers require simple and careful cleaning techniques. These easy-to-follow techniques will keep your teeth in their ideal shape.

Dr. Black will work with you to create the best possible plan for your unique smile. Whether you need a clear retainer or a permanent retainer, Dr. Black can help you find the right fit for your goals!

Why is it important to clean your retainer?

You will need to clean your retainer every day! Just like unclean teeth, a dirty retainer can cause cavities and further complications. Many people find it helpful to clean their retainers as part of their tooth-brushing routine. Regular cleaning will ensure a healthy and clean process of keeping your teeth straight.

How to clean clear retainers

Cleaning your retainer requires adding a few easy steps to your everyday routine. Since removable clear retainers can be taken out of your mouth, it is simple to clean them.

Here are a few guidelines on how to clean clear retainers:

  • Gently brush your clear retainer with water and a toothbrush after every use of your retainer. Be careful because too hot water can damage your retainer.
  • When wearing a retainer for several hours of the day, we recommend rinsing with warm water a few times a day. A good time to do this is when taking your retainer out for meals or snacks.
  • For best results, use warm water to brush carefully over the clear retainer. Some people even occasionally use Q-tips for those hard-to-reach areas.
  • Always remove retainers when eating to avoid stains.
  • Brush teeth and retainer after eating.

How to clean permanent retainers

Permanent retainers are especially important to keep clean as leftover food particles can quickly cluster in the retainer and cause irritation and bacteria. Gently brushing the retainers twice a day and adding flossing into your brushing routine will help keep your teeth and your retainer in tip-top shape.

Cleaning your bonded retainer and your teeth regularly with floss will discourage plaque growth on your teeth.

  • When cleaning your permanent retainer, be sure to thread the floss under your retainer wire.
  • Massage the gums and teeth with your floss by moving it up and down against each area.

Caring for your retainers

Another essential part of orthodontic retainer care is the storage of your removable retainer. Your retainer is made of clear plastic, and it is easier than you think to misplace it.

Having your case nearby at all times will be important! The case keeps your retainer safe from blemishes, breaks, and deformation.

Follow these steps to help keep your retainer safe:

  • If you are not wearing your retainer, put the retainer in a case.
  • To avoid retainer injury or loss, do not store in loose pockets.
  • Keep your retainer out of reach of dogs, pets, and small children.
  • Do not set your retainer next to your food or beverages. Often, retainers are mistaken for trash and thrown away, especially when folded into napkins.
  • Keep the retainer case in a cool place. Heat can warp and damage your retainer at times beyond use.

Avoid harsh chemicals

The use of boiling hot water, harsh solvents, bleach-based cleaners, or even some strong kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes can do more harm than good to your retainer.

Keep your retainer cleaning routine simple and gentle by using a toothbrush and warm water. Small amounts of baking soda can be mixed with water to occasionally soak your retainer if recommended by your orthodontist. Never use hot water as your retainer may melt or become misshapen when overheated.

Caring and cleaning your retainers keeps your smile looking great!

Black Orthodontics wants to keep you smiling confidently. By caring for your retainer properly with the steps above, you will establish a healthy and smart routine for your teeth.

Have any questions about retainer care? We are available online and in person to help you!

Contact us or request an appointment online now!