Do You Need To Clean Your Orthodontic Retainers?

After Houston braces, our patients have to wear orthodontic retainers in order to retain the new alignment of their teeth. There are several kinds of retainers available, each with different pros and cons. However, they all have one thing in common besides protecting your teeth from shifting again: they need to be cleaned. 

Why Your Retainers Should Be Cleaned

Because retainers are worn in your mouth after Houston braces, they can easily collect whatever is on your teeth, such as plaque, bacteria, and tartar. If you aren’t adamant about cleaning your orthodontic retainers, they may start to smell or taste really bad, which is unpleasant for you and may steer you away from wearing your retainers responsibly.

Bacteria are usually found in our mouths, which is why we have to keep them clean, but if illness-causing bacteria such as streptococcus is left to accumulate on your retainers, you may get sick with an infection.

How Should Retainers Be Cleaned?

Because every type of retainer is made of different materials, how you clean them will depend on this. However, here are some general tips and rules of thumb for each type.

Traditional Hawley Retainer and Transparent Removable Retainers

Brush your Hawley retainer or transparent retainer with lukewarm water after every meal with a soft toothbrush and be sure to brush your teeth as well, especially if you are in your first year after Houston braces. By brushing your teeth after every meal, you are ensuring no food particles get stuck in between your teeth and prevent your retainers from doing their job.

Consider asking our South Houston dentist at your next appointment if soaking your retainers in a special cleaning solution is an option. There are multiple options available, but we can recommend what works best for your retainers. We can also discuss how long you should soak them for, as you don’t want to soak them too long. Soaking Hawley retainers for too long may corrode the metal.

Bonded Permanent Retainers

Flossing is the best way to clean your bonded retainers, as they are fused to the teeth, so they cannot be removed and separately scrubbed. By flossing correctly, you will slide the thread between your teeth and around your bonded retainers. Our South Houston dentist will be more than happy to teach you the proper flossing technique. 

Visit Our South Houston Dentist To Learn More About Proper Retainer Care

If you are about to wear retainers or have been wearing them for some time, please book an appointment with us so we can check that you are taking proper care of your teeth and ensure that they have not shifted. We will help get you back on track to beautiful, straight teeth.