Retainers are an important tool in keeping your smile looking its best. If you already have one you may know that the care and keeping of your retainer can get a little bit tricky. Finding the right product to help keep your retainer clean and your mouth fresh and healthy matters.
What you use matters.
The material used to make retainers is incredibly porous, which means it can absorb whatever you use to clean it. This means the cleaning solution can then get into your mouth for you to ingest. Selecting the wrong chemicals could be toxic!
There is a myth floating around that toothbrushes will scratch your retainer. The good news is that not only is that untrue, but toothbrushes are recommended for use in cleaning your retainer. They are the safest way to remove natural buildup.
Choosing the right things to clean your retainer with is very important. It is also important to know how to do it!
How to Clean Your Retainer:
- Brush – Gently brush using a soft toothbrush, clear liquid soap (such as Soft Soap®), and cold water. Clear liquid soap contains antimicrobials to kill the bacteria that gets trapped in/on the retainer.
- Rinse – Rinse your retainers every time you take them out of your mouth so tartar and germs don’t bond to the material.
- Retainer Cleaning Tablets – Retainer Brite® is a specialized effervescent cleaner specifically for retainers, you can find Retainer Brite® in retail stores and online.
Repeat! Keeping your retainer clean is easier than it seems. Use the above three steps to keep a healthy smile.
What to avoid:
Effervescent Cleaning Tablets
These bubbling little tablets go by brand names such as Polident® and Efferdent®. Designed to clean dentures, they are not recommended for use in cleaning retainers! An ingredient persulfate is known to cause allergic reactions.
Though mouthwash is an effective germ killer, the oral rinse is also not recommended for use in cleaning your retainer. The alcohol in most rinses, along with ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate can dry out your retainer and mouth, which not only damages the retainer but can cause bad breath! Mouthwash can also change the color of your retainer.
The heat from boiling water is an effective germ killer, but it is not recommended for use with your retainer. Unfortunately, the high heat will melt and deform the shape of your retainer.
This handy household item serves numerous purposes from baking ingredient to multi-purpose cleaner. However, baking soda is very abrasive and will scratch your retainer weakening the material and reducing the clearness of the material.
Contact us if you have questions about how to care for your retainers, or if you feel like your retainer needs some additional deep cleaning.