Orthodontics LA

Tips for Cleaning Retainers

Posted on December 9, 2020

cleaning retainers

Whether you have traditional metal braces or Invisalign braces, part of your journey will include wearing a retainer. A retainer helps to prevent your teeth from shifting back into place. Cleaning retainers is something that will need to be incorporated as part of your oral hygiene after braces.

Cleaning your retainers involves following a few simple steps to ensure that you are taking control of your oral health. You should make sure to learn the proper techniques for cleaning retainers and make it a part of your regular oral hygiene process.

What Are Retainers?

Retainers are devices that are similar to braces but can be removed. They are not designed to move your teeth into place but are designed to help keep your teeth in the proper position. Typically, a retainer will have to be worn around the clock for several months after your orthodontic treatment.

Retainers are covered under the financing for your orthodontic treatment. In most cases, your orthodontist will recommend you wear your retainer at least 22 hours a day for the three to four months following your correction. In some cases, like with kids braces, wearing the retainer for longer may be required.

Cleaning retainers is a very important part of the process of finishing up your orthodontic treatment.

Tips For Cleaning Retainers

To get the best results from cleaning retainers, whether they are Invisalign or acrylic, you should start by immediately rinsing the retainer as soon as you take it out of your mouth. The retainer will still be wet with your saliva and the debris will wash away easier.

Use lukewarm water to flush away debris. You do not want to use very hot water or you risk damaging your retainer. You should also avoid using toothpaste on your retainer. Toothpaste is abrasive and can cause damage to the finish.

What can you use for deep cleaning retainers? Try these agents:

  • Denture cleaning tablets.
  • A soft toothbrush to dislodge any debris.
  • Use a cotton swab to get into any crevices.

Tartar can build up on your retainer just as it can build up on your teeth. The goal is to prevent that from happening. Cleaning retainers regularly will ensure that not only will the retainer get the job done but that your retainer will stay in good condition.

If you find that there is build up which traditional cleaning methods just will not get rid of, contact our orthodontists and make an appointment. They may be able to assist with some directions on how to solve that issue!