It is essential to take care of and store your orthodontic appliances when you're not wearing them. Here’s how to keep your retainer clean and damage free.
When should you remove your retainer?
If you need to wear your retainers full time, you'll remove it to eat, to brush and floss your teeth, or to clean your retainer. If you play sports, you should remove your orthodontic retainer and replace it with an athletic sports guard.
If you wear your retainer part time, it'll spend more time in its storage case, which is the only place you should put it when it's not in your mouth.
But before you put it in there…
Clean your retainer.
There isn't a point to brushing your teeth if you put in a dirty retainer. Brush your retainer each time you brush your teeth to remove bacteria and plaque buildup:
- Take your retainer out of your mouth
- Rinse the retainer under cool tap water
- Use a small dab of toothpaste and your toothbrush to gently brush your retainer to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup.
- Rinse the retainer with cool water again.
Store your retainer.
Once your retainer is clean, you can put it straight back into your mouth or into its container.
Do not leave it lying on the bathroom counter or in a tissue while you eat; this is an easy way to lose your retainer
Also avoid leaving your retainer anywhere hot, like in the car on a sunny day, or near the stove, as heat can warp the plastic.