Easy and Effective Ways to Keep Your Retainer Clean and In-Use

If you’re an Invisalign or Invisalign Teen patient or have ever undergone any sort of orthodontic treatment, you’re aware of the repercussions of not properly cleaning a retainer. Crusty calcium buildups and unpleasant odors are just a few possible outcomes of failing to care for your mouthpiece. Luckily, we know a few simple and effective ways to keep retainers in the best condition possible.

Baking Soda
Add retainer cleaner to the list of awesome solutions this household product supplies. Baking soda’s natural pH-increasing effect helps to guard against bacteria buildup in the mouth and neutralize the odors retainers often acquire. To clean your mouthpiece, mix baking soda with toothpaste and use a toothbrush to gently scrub in a circular motion. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with water afterward.

Vinegar
This easy method is ideal for orthodontic retainers with metal components and for eliminating calcium and mineral buildups from saliva. Place the dirty retainer in a cup of warm (not hot) distilled water and add white vinegar until the retainer is completely submerged. Let it sit for no more than five minutes and rinse with warm water. It’s important to rinse thoroughly, since many plastic retainers are porous and will harbor whatever products they are soaked in. This could lead to some serious tooth irritation and interesting tastes!

Toothbrush & Toothpaste
For retainers in generally good health, nothing beats a good old fashioned scrub with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Be gentle, thorough and rinse well with warm water.

Castile Soap
Castile soap is an oil-based product found at many large retail stores. This light soap contains natural ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil, so it’s a great gentle cleanser for plastic Invisalign retainers. Squirt a pump or two in a cup of warm distilled water and let the retainer soak.

No matter what method you choose, it’s important to keep the retainer in a cup of distilled water when not in use. Dry retainers promote tartar growth and biofilm development.

A Clean Retainer is Key to Your Treatment

Maintaining a clean mouthpiece is a must. No patient should have to regularly wear an unclean retainer. Using the retainer as Dr. Hussain instructs is vital to keeping your smile intact and negating the need for a second round of dental braces in the future. For Invisalign patients, teeth will fail to align if the retainer isn’t worn constantly.

If you have questions about your retainer or are considering self-ligating clear braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign treatment, feel free to contact Dr. Hussain and the Pure Orthodontics team for prompt assistance.

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