3 Tips for a Clean Retainer
All orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign, requires the use of a retainer to prevent teeth from shifting. Our dentists will discuss how long to wear your retainer and the type of retainer that will serve you best. Many options are available today including clear removable designs, removable wire and acrylic, and fixed retainers.
Fixed Retainer Cleaning
Since fixed retainers attach directly to teeth, you will clean those as you brush and floss. You will need special floss threaders or a small interproximal brush to remove plaque and debris between teeth and around brackets.
Cleaning Removable Retainers
Removable retainers are far more common and do require some special care to keep them clean and fresh. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar develop on acrylic and plastic retainers just like it builds up on your teeth. If you do not clean your retainer regularly, it can contribute to gum disease, decay, and may develop a foul odor.
Follow these three tips to clean your removable retainer:
Clean your retainer every time you brush your teeth. Using a soft-bristled brush dedicated to cleaning only your retainer and a mild soap or a special oral appliance cleaner, gently brush across the surfaces and wires on your retainer. This will remove plaque before it hardens and will remove food particles.
Use a soft-bristled brush or another gentle cleaning tool. Anything too harsh can scratch your retainer and bacteria will quickly develop on the compromised surface.
Remove tartar regularly. Your saliva is full of minerals, and eventually, you may notice white build-up developing that you cannot remove with your toothbrush. If this occurs, don’t worry. Soaking your retainer in plain white vinegar for a couple of hours and then brushing it away with a toothbrush will have it looking fresh again. Unless you love the strong flavor of vinegar, be sure to wash it before putting it back in our mouth.
If you are searching for an Invisalign dentist in Vallejo, CA, Morgan Nordstrom, D.D.S. and William C. Vizzolini, D.D.S. offer Invisalign clear braces. Call us to arrange an evaluation to discover if Invisalign is right for you.