To keep your teeth in their newly acquired straight positions after removing braces, an orthodontist will recommend clear retainers for adults. However, it’s very important to take proper care of clear retainers to keep them bacteria free and maintain your beautiful new smile. In today’s blog post, we’ll give you some essential cleaning and caring tips for clear retainers.
What are Clear Retainers?
Before we move on to cleaning tips, let’s see what exactly clear retainers are. They resemble mouth guards and are made of thin, transparent plastic plates that need to be worn on your teeth for at least 12 hours every day. It protects your teeth from shifting to their previous misaligned state.
The plastic in clear retainers, however, has a porous characteristic which makes them prone to discolouration and bad odour. If not properly cleaned and maintained, it can also lead to bad breath. Keeping them thoroughly cleaned will not only help you feel more comfortable while wearing it but also aid in keeping your teeth germ free.
How to Clean Clear Retainers
- Rinsing your clear retainers regularly is very important every time you remove them. Use warm or normal water to rinse them.
- Take a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub the retainer using a mild dish cleaner. Scrub the inside and the outside of the retainer thoroughly. Make sure to use a new unused toothbrush to clean your retainer. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water before putting it back on your teeth.
- Another alternative cleaner for clear retainers is chlorine bleach. Mix chlorine bleach and water in 1:10 ratio in a clean glass. Soak the retainer in this solution for 10 minutes. Take it out and rinse thoroughly with warm water before using it again.
- If your clear retainer smells bad, you can use baking soda to get rid of the odour. Take a new toothbrush, wet it with water, and sprinkle a little baking soda on it. Scrub the inside and the outside of the retainer and rinse it well with warm water after cleaning.
- Another easy way to clean retainers is to use antimicrobial toothpaste. Brush all the crevices of the retainer well and then rinse it with warm water.
How to Maintain Clear Retainers in Good Shape
- Because of its acrylic composition, a clear retainer needs to be handled carefully. It shouldn’t be exposed to hot temperatures and intense sunlight because heat can cause the material to melt and distort. Also, never use hot water to rinse it.
- Always remove a clear retainer when eating. This is because it can otherwise trap food particles and plaque.
- Never let your clear retainers dry out because that leads tartar to get bonded to the retainer. When this happens, a white cloudy film is visible on the retainers. It can get difficult to remove bonded tartar from the crevices of the retainers and it may also lead to other dental problems.
- When you’re not using your retainers, make sure to preserve them in provided retainer cases.
Clear retainers are a great way to maintain your smile after removing braces. To make it last, take proper care of your retainer as per the instructions given by your orthodontist. If you notice any distortion, cracks or discomfort when wearing your retainer, contact your orthodontist immediately.