Know your dental facts before making decisions

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Clear Retainers

Clear retainers can easily become deceivingly dirty and gross without the proper treatment. Here's how to go about cleaning yours easily and effectively.



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A massive part of all things to do with oral care is how objects must be handled and cleaned, and that’s especially true of new apparatuses as you strive to use them correctly. With clear retainers, you’re going to find that there is quite a bit of care that’s necessary to take care of them properly. Anything that goes into the mouth like this needs to be handled carefully, so that you can keep them sanitary and safe for your everyday use. That way, you can be sure that you’re going to be able to count on your clear retainers to actually do the job of correcting your teeth, as well as protecting against bad habits like grinding your teeth.

What you’re going to find is that the advent of Invisalign retainers, and other such clear braces types devices means you can correct your teeth without anyone else being any the wiser. You don’t always want to advertise that you’re wearing a retainer, as it can be distracting to those around you, but with an invisible clear plastic model this will be perfectly easy. However, they are also a bit delicate at times, so you have to take proper care of them. Here are some of the common ways to clean a retainer successfully, and how to be careful when doing so:

1) Start by removing the retainer fully, and then rinsing under warm water.

This means totally removing the clear orthodontic retainers that you’ve been prescribed, so that they are totally out of your mouth. Then you want to run the tap so that you have a nice combination of hot and cold, but not too far into either direction. You basically want to simulate the conditions inside your mouth, so that you have a comfortable mix between the two, so that you can begin to clean them properly.

2) Get a soft bristle toothbrush, or a specially made retainer brush.

Using an ordinary toothbrush usually isn’t a good idea for your retainer, as it can totally damage the outer structure which is going to make it more uncomfortable to wear, and is also going to make it less effective when in your mouth. Instead, you want to use a soft bristle type of tooth brush to totally clean off the surface, when you’re rinsing the retainer.

3) Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the retainer for a complete clean.

From there, with the right type of brush in tow, you can actually do the physical job of cleaning the retainer by brushing it in the same way that you would your teeth. By gently using the bristles to coat the toothpaste as well as really brush and wash it in, you can ensure that you’re totally getting rid of anything lining the outside of the retainer, including things like bacteria, or other harmful things that your mouth can be a harbinger for.

4) Make sure that you also inspect the retainer at the same time.

Because this spends so much time in your mouth, which is a warm moist place, it’s also a major risk for developing things like bacterial build up, as well as calcium deposits. That means you want to inspect your clear plastic retainer from time to time, to ensure that there is nothing damaging the surface. This way, you can ensure that there’s no risk of developing a calcium deposit or anything else of the like, to keep your retainer safe for you to use on a daily basis.

5) Don’t soak your retainer in mouthwash.

While this is something that a lot of people tend to do for a variety of reasons, it’s not always the best policy for a few reasons. Namely it can be bad for corroding as well as damaging the surface of the retainer because of the harsh alcohol that mouthwash contains. But what’s more, it can also actually dye the pigment of the retainer a totally different color, thereby ruining the clear appeal that you purchased yours for.

6) Be very careful about the warmth of the water that you use when washing.

While you do want to use a warmer solution opposed to plain cold water, it’s important that you don’t go all the way warm or even hot. That’s because most clear retainers are made from a plastic resin, and will warm easily when faced with especially hot water, and that can permanently damage yours.

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