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March 13, 2015
Retainers 101: How To Keep Them Clean
Even though getting your braces removed is a momentous occasion, your orthodontic treatment does not end the day you get your braces off. This is when the retention phase of your treatment starts. The retainers we provide you with are used to hold your teeth in their new positions while the gums, ligaments and bones adapt to their new positions. Because your teeth will always try to return to their original positions, it’s very important that you wear your retainers according to Dr. Peralta’s specific recommendations.
Part of your responsibility in the retention phase of your treatment involves keeping your retainers clean. To help you do this, we recommend regularly brushing your retainers using a soft toothbrush, a dab of non-abrasive toothpaste (without tartar control) and cool to lukewarm water. The reason why you should use a soft toothbrush and avoid abrasive toothpaste is because repeated scrubbing can scratch the surface of the retainer to give bacteria a good place to hide. Just brush your retainer thoroughly on all sides using gentle brushing strokes and then rinse thoroughly using cool to lukewarm water. It’s very important to not use hot water, as doing so can cause your retainers to warp and no longer fit properly.
We also recommend using a product called Retainer Brite. This product consists of water-dissolving effervescent tablets designed to keep your retainers sparkling clean and odor-free. Simply follow the instructions on the package, which involve soaking your retainers in the solution. When done, rinse your retainers using cool to lukewarm water.
If you damage or lose your retainers, contact us right away to schedule an appointment. A good way to avoid losing your retainers is to never wrap them in napkins and leave them lying on a table during mealtime as you may mistakenly throw them away. Instead, keep the retainers in the case they came in when eating. Also, never put your retainers in your pocket without the case – this is a sure-fire way to break them. Retainers are costly to replace so please treat them like you would valuable jewelry!
Our Seattle, WA orthodontics team is always here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. If you have any questions about caring for and cleaning your retainers, please contact us during regular office hours.