Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS

Dental Blog

Is Your Retainer Clean?

Gina Maestri - Thursday, April 26, 2018

When is the last time you cleaned your retainer? If you have had orthodontic treatment whether it be standard metal braces or Six Month Smiles, you should be wearing your retainer on a nightly rotation. After time, we see patients that get lazy and they do not properly clean their retainer after each use. Check out these easy habits to add to your daily routine so you can properly clean your dental retainer and night guard.

There are many over the counter products you can use to clean your retainer, but they may not be the most safe, nor the most effective options. First, let’s discuss these products.

Is Mouthwash Enough?

Some patients soak their retainers in antibacterial mouthwash. Granted, this is a better option than not cleaning your retainer at all; however, mouthwash has harsh chemicals like alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate that dry out your retainer, causing it to break or crack over time.

Are Denture Cleaners Safe?

Denture cleaners are effective in cleaning retainers; however, they are filled with harsh chemicals, like persulfate, that can soak into your retainer. Persulfate has been proven to cause allergic reaction

Easy At-Home Remedy

This is the easiest, safest and most natural option – Baking Soda. Place your retainer in a small bowl or container, sprinkle baking soda on top and cover with water. Now cover the bowl and let it sit all day until you are ready to use it again. When you’re ready to wear the retainer, remove it from the baking soda/water mixture, give it a light brushing with your toothbrush and it is now clean and ready for use.

Another important factor is the need to keep your retainer moist all day. Letting the retainer dry out leads to cracking and damage. So it's best not to just shove it away into its case when not in use!

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Chompers, a Brushing App for Kids

Gina Maestri - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

We know that teaching your toddler about dental hygiene can be a difficult task but we’ve discovered a few secrets that could help your little one get to brushin’ and strutting into the dentist office like a champ!

  1. Introduce Dental Hygiene into Their Routine. Holding a child down to brush their teeth can be a traumatic experience for them so we suggest introducing the idea of brushing their teeth by incorporating it into their morning and nightly routine. Show them that his or her parents do it every day, give them a soft-bristle toothbrush (without toothpaste at first - some children don’t like the taste) and let them try to mimic you. It’s okay that they’re not doing a thorough job, you’re just introducing it - you can finish up the brushing job after they’re finished.
  2. Add Rewards. Incentives are always a good idea when trying to instill good dental hygiene into your child’s routine. They automatically relate brushing their teeth with fun rewards so it makes it easier for them to start doing it themselves. Offer two stories at bedtime instead of one, some extra coloring time, or playing a fun game on your phone.
  3. Introduce the Dentist Office Early On. Many question when they should make their child’s first dentist appointment. According to The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child's first visit should be when the first tooth appears, no later than age one to two. The first initial visit is about introducing them to the environment and the staff in a positive way, building trust, letting the dentist examine their gums, teeth, any bite issues they may have, and answering questions you might have about dental hygiene for your toddler. It’s also important to continue regular 6 month checkups with the dentist to foresee any new cavities or underlying issues.
  4. Leave it to Alexa. What do kids love most? Playing! If you make brushing their teeth into a fun game, they will learn to love it and believe that it’s FUN! Let them brush their bear’s teeth or their doll’s teeth, even your teeth! It reverses the rolls and gets them more comfortable to the idea of brushing their own teeth. You can even use Amazon Alexa to help kids brush their teeth! When it’s time for your family to brush teeth, say “Alexa, start Chompers.” A podcast by gimletmedia.com, Chompers will play 2 minute episodes that consist of jokes, stories, fun songs and more both morning and night when your kids need to brush.

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Welcome to exceptional family dentistry in Lafayette. Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS and her team of dedicated dental professionals are here to provide you and your family with a level of caring clinical excellence you’ve never experienced before. From our state-of-the-art technology to our many comfort amenities, we have everything you need to feel relaxed while you enjoy gentle dentistry in Acadiana.

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