Tips For Cleaning Your Retainer

If you recently started wearing a retainer, you may not be familiar with all of the things you need to do to keep it clean. This is very important, since bacteria and plaque will collect on the retainer throughout the day. Your retainer is also made from a material that is porous, so it is very easy for it to collect that bacteria. Thankfully, it is easy to keep a retainer clean if you follow these tips.

Avoid Using Chemical Cleaning Solutions

One item you may see at your local drug store is tablets that are designed to clean dentures and retainers. Another option you may have heard about from friends is to use mouthwash for soaking and cleaning purposes. With these items being easy to get access to, it often causes the belief that they must be safe to use for a retainer; however, they both contain chemicals that can be harmful to it.

You should avoid cleaning tablets because they use an ingredient known as persulfate. Using the chemical can cause you to have an allergic reaction if you are allergic to sulfa drugs, which is an allergy you may not even know you have. Using mouthwash can cause problems because of accidental ingestion, which will cause your throat and stomach to feel much discomfort. Avoid using a chemical cleaning solution unless your orthodontist gives you their blessing that it is safe.

Use Baking Soda As A Natural Cleaning Solution

The best item you can use to clean a retainer is already in your home's kitchen. Mixing distilled warm water and baking soda will be ideal for when you clean your retainer, and is recommended for several reasons.

First of all, baking soda will reduce the acidity on the retainer from your mouth, which will decrease the amount of bacteria in it. Second, baking soda will also deodorize the retainer, which gets rid of any foul odors on it.

Always mix distilled warm water when cleaning with baking soda, and avoid using water that is boiling. It helps to use a toothbrush for scrubbing the retainer as well, since it is gentle enough to not cause damage. When you're not wearing the retainer, always be sure to soak it in the mixture of baking soda and water. Dry retainers are a breeding ground for bacteria.

For more cleaning tips, be sure to speak with your dentist or orthodontist at your next visit.