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Tips for Properly Caring for an Orthodontic Retainer


Posted on 1/24/2022 by Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates
Tips for Properly Caring for an Orthodontic RetainerCaring for your orthodontic retainer is just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth every day. Your retainer can attract plaque and bacteria that you do not want lingering in your mouth. Here are some tips on how to properly care for a retainer so that it can continue doing the job it was designed for: retaining the alignment of your smile.

Cleaning


The way you should clean your orthodontic retainer depends on what type it is. For removable acrylic or clear plastic retainers, remove them before you eat so that food particles do not get stuck. You should also remove your retainer when you brush your teeth so that you do not miss sections of your mouth. Clean your retainer as soon as you take it out by rinsing it with water and brushing it with a toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste, which can be abrasive and damage the surface of the retainer. You can even use a mild dish soap or soak your retainer in a cleansing solution or baking soda for a deeper clean. Do not clean your retainer with products that contain harsh chemicals.

Cleaning fixed or bonded retainers is different since these cannot be removed. This type of retainer is attached to your teeth and needs to be flossed every day. We can give you instructions for how to floss your fixed retainer if you are having trouble.

Storage


Proper storage is another important factor in caring for removable retainers. Do not store your retainer in a closed container, as this can encourage mold and bacteria growth. Keep your retainer away from heat so that it does not melt; do not store it on your windowsill or in a hot car, and do not attempt to clean it by putting it in the dishwasher or washing machine.

Follow Our Instructions


Your retainer will work best if you follow our instructions for when and how long to wear it. Make sure you put it on and take it off correctly as well. You can damage your retainer by twisting or pulling to remove it. Call our office if you have questions about caring for your orthodontic retainer.
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