Tips For Teens: How To Clean Your Orthodontic Retainer

Keeping your orthodontic retainer clean is important for a number of different reasons. As you consume food and beverages, plaque and bacteria can build up on your retainer. Retainers are made from porous materials, so debris can build up on them pretty quickly. Fortunately, cleaning your retainer is a pretty simple task. Read on to learn more about how you can effectively keep yours clean.

Avoiding Chemical Cleaners: Why Is This Necessary?

You have likely seen over-the-counter tablets for cleaning dentures and orthodontic retainers. You may also hear that mouthwash is a good solution for cleaning your mouthpiece. These items are easily accessible and often promoted as safe and effective. However, both of these types of products contain chemical ingredients.

For example, a lot of popular cleaning tablets contain an ingredient called persulfate. Persulfate can cause allergic reactions, and it can be harmful if ingested. Mouthwash often contains alcohol and other strong chemicals; accidentally ingesting it may cause burning in your throat or stomach discomfort. Unless your orthodontist tells you otherwise, it is best to avoid chemical-based orthodontic retainer cleaners.

What Safe Options Are Available For Cleaning Retainers?

You may be surprised to learn that the main ingredient you need to clean your retainer is in your kitchen pantry. Baking soda and warm distilled water are ideal for cleaning dentures and orthodontic retainers. Baking soda is effective for several different reasons:

  • It reduces the acidic PH balance in your mouth, and this can decrease bacteria.

  • Baking soda is a very common deodorizer, so it can remove foul odors from your orthodontic retainer.

Make sure that you use warm distilled water, and do not use boiling water to clean your retainer. You may also use a clean toothbrush to gently scrub your retainer. If your orthodontic retainer is not in your mouth, make sure that it is soaking in water or water and baking soda. When these mouthpieces become dry, bacteria can begin growing on them.

Speak To Your Orthodontist For More Information

It is always a good idea to consult with your orthodontist about proper retainer cleaning. He or she may suggest unique and effective cleaning methods that are catered to suit the material of your retainer. Additionally, he or she can inspect your retainer to see if you are cleaning it correctly. Make sure to schedule regular appointments with your orthodontist to ensure that your orthodontic retainer stays free of bacteria and debris on a consistent basis.

For an orthodontist, contact an office such as Waterford Dental.