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!