Maintaining Your Retainers: Safe Ways to Clean Them at Home

retainersYour retainers will be exposed to bacteria, tartar, and plaque. This makes it necessary to clean them daily, especially if you wear them all the time. Since cleaning retainers is not a straightforward process, it is important not to do it blindly. What are some of the safest ways to clean your retainers at home?

Cleaning Using Toothpaste

This is the primary cleaning approach. You ought to brush your retainers frequently as you brush your teeth. Using non-whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush is essential. If you have removable retainers, you should remove them and then brush your teeth again. Doing so cleans your entire mouth. Rinsing your retainers thoroughly before reattaching them is vital.

Flossing Daily

Bonded wire retainers can be tricky to clean. Since using your toothbrush is not enough, it is important to floss daily. Flossing eradicates debris that can create the perfect home for bacteria. Removing the debris also prevents terrible odors. Understand that flossing with retainers is not as straightforward as regular flossing is. If you feel unsure, it is advisable to seek the help of your orthodontist before attempting anything.

Using Baking Soda

Unlike chemical disinfectants, baking soda eradicates bacteria without posing any risk to you, your teeth, and the retainers. If your retainers are yellowing, baking soda can effectively whiten them without bleaching them. It is advisable to mix your baking soda with water and then scrub your retainers gently using a soft toothbrush. Be careful to rinse the retainers thoroughly to remove all residue before reattaching them.

There are different types of retainers. You need to choose a cleaning method that works for your kind of retainer. If you have plastic retainers, for example, using abrasive types of toothpaste might mean scratching their surface. Removing stubborn tartar with stiff toothbrushes and harsh chemicals might also damage plastic retainers.