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What Should You Do To Keep Your Retainer Clean And In Good Shape?

Posted on 9/25/2023 by Evan
What Should You Do To Keep Your Retainer Clean And In Good Shape?Proper care of your retainer is crucial to prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria. Since your retainer is in close contact with your teeth and inside your mouth, it can accumulate these substances fairly quickly. Just as you brush your teeth daily, it is equally essential to clean your retainer on a daily basis. Cleaning methods may vary depending on the retainer type you have. There are three common types of retainers and how to take care of them:

Hawley Retainers

These retainers have a plastic base and a metal wire that wraps around the teeth. To clean a Hawley retainer, gently brush it with a soft toothbrush and mild soap or non-abrasive cleaner. Rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water after brushing. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the plastic. Consider using a retainer-specific cleaning solution or soaking it in a denture cleaner as recommended by your orthodontist.

Clear Plastic Retainers

Clear plastic retainers, also known as Essix retainers, are transparent and fit snugly over the teeth. If you want to clean a clear plastic retainer, rinse it with lukewarm water after removal. Gently brush it with a soft toothbrush, mild soap, or retainer-specific cleaner. Avoid using toothpaste, as it can be abrasive and cause scratches. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any residue.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are wires bonded to the teeth' back surfaces. Since they are not removable, cleaning can be more challenging. Brushing thoroughly around the fixed retainer using a soft toothbrush and reaching all areas is essential. You may also use floss threaders, interdental brushes, or a water flosser to clean between the teeth and around the wire. Regular dental check-ups can ensure the fixed retainer is adequately maintained, and any necessary adjustments are made.
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