What Are the Steps to Proper Retainer Cleaning?

Retainer Cleaning - How to clean retainers by Michael Bryant Orthodontics in Windsor Mill, MD

Wearing braces is not the end of a patient’s orthodontic treatment. Normally when you finish wearing braces you’ll be fitted for either a permanent or removable retainer to help your teeth retain their straight alignment. It’s important to carefully follow instructions from your orthodontist when it comes to both wearing your retainer and keeping it clean. This will help your orthodontic treatment to be as effective as possible so you can enjoy a bright, healthy smile for years to come.

How to Clean Retainers

Figuring out how to clean retainers properly is essential for maintaining your oral health during the last phase of your orthodontic treatment. Though retainers are designed to be durable, you could damage your retainer if you clean it too vigorously or use the wrong tools or cleaning agents. For proper retainer care cleaning, you can follow a few simple steps, such as:

  • Use toothpaste to clean your retainer. Since toothpaste is designed to remove plaque and to be used in your mouth, using toothpaste instead of soap to clean your retainer makes good sense. Commercial retainer cleaners are also available for purchase.
  • Only use a soft bristle toothbrush to scrub your retainer. Hard bristle brushes could damage the wires or plastic surfaces of your retainer over time.
  • Be sure to carefully brush all surfaces of your retainer each time you clean it.
  • Clean your retainer regularly. It is highly recommended that you brush your teeth and your clean your retainers in the morning, at night before bed, and after each meal or snack.

Why Is Retainer Care Cleaning So Important?

Retainer cleaning care is crucial to good oral hygiene. Even if you carefully brush your teeth, without regular retainer care cleaning, you can still suffer from plaque buildup. The crevices of your retainer can become coated with plaque, germs, and bacteria, just like teeth can. If you fail to clean your retainers the plaque accumulated on them can be harmful to your teeth and eventually cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Now that you know how to clean retainers, you’ll be prepared for the final stage of your orthodontic treatment after your braces come off. If you have any other questions about retainer cleaning or orthodontic treatment in general, we’d be happy to help you find the answers. Feel free to contact our office to find out more information or to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist.