Once your teeth are free from braces, you are in the home stretch of having a beautiful smile for the rest of your life. You have been on a long road to achieving a beautifully straight smile, and the last thing you want to do is cause damage to your smile.
Most orthodontic patients need to wear a retainer at night to keep their teeth from shifting out of their new positions. It is crucial that you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist to prevent your teeth from losing their beautiful alignment. However, almost as important as wearing your retainer is keeping it properly cleaned and maintained. A dirty retainer may keep your teeth straight – but it will also cause damage to your smile. Then you’d be left with a straight but unhealthy smile.
Your retainer sits inside your mouth, resting against your teeth and gums. Cleaning your retainer and your overall oral health go hand-in-hand. Insufficient cleaning of your retainer will lead to the buildup of bacteria, which will lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Just as with your teeth, you should clean your retainer every day. If you only have to wear your retainer at night, simply clean it when you remove it in the morning. Use a toothbrush that you use for regular brushing, and brush your retainer under running water. If your retainer has buildup on it, use a mild soap to clean the retainer. Brush in gentle circles, slowing moving across the entire surface. Then, rinse it off with water and allow it to air dry.
If you need to wear your retainer throughout the day, you will follow the above procedure of cleaning it gently and rinsing it off before putting it back into a clean mouth. *Never put your retainer inside your mouth before brushing your teeth!
You will also want to remember to clean your retainer’s case periodically. Warm, soapy water is a perfect cleaning agent!
Keeping your retainer clean is a simple but essential process. Remember, your goal is to keep the beautiful smile you worked so hard to achieve!
Contact Broad Street Braces if you have any questions about caring for your retainers or your teeth after orthodontic treatment.