• Are You Cleaning Your Retainer?

  • Boise orthodontist retainersFor many, a retainer is the next step after braces.  The purpose of the retainer is to minimize teeth movement while the bone structure sets.  The most common mistake we see in our Boise orthodontist office is from patients who stop wearing their retainer prematurely.  Your teeth are no different from the rest of your body.  That is, they’ll continue to move as you age just like sagging skin or growing fingernails.  If you disagree, try going without your retainer for a few days and then put it back in your mouth.  Most likely, the fit will be tighter than before.  So, with that in mind, let’s look at the importance of a clean retainer.


    Eliminate the Risk of Bacteria

    When you remove your retainer from your mouth, where do you put it?  Does it go in your pocket or on a lunch tray?  Do you set in on a table or in your car console?  If it were an unwrapped piece of gum, would you lay it in the same spot and then put it back in your mouth?  Hopefully, you wouldn’t.  Unless you have just scrubbed the area with disinfectant, you have no idea what is touching it.  With any luck, some lint is the worst it can pick up, but in reality, you’ve just added hundreds of microscopic bacterium into your oral cavity.

    Our Boise orthodontist and staff want you to think twice before setting down your retainer.  Carry a plastic bag specifically for your retainer in your pocket or purse, or use the plastic case we provided for you.


    Clean Retainer, Happy Mouth

    Cleaning your retainer is just like cleaning your teeth.   Brush the retainer from your Boise orthodontist with a soft-bristled brush as you would your teeth.  The only difference here is to avoid abrasive toothpastes.  Talk with our staff about proper cleaning procedures and cleaning products.  Plaque can build up on your retainer just as it does on your teeth.  This leads to gum disease and can increase your risk for infections from bacteria.  The same holds true for your retainer.  Keep it clean so you can confidently wear your retainer with the fear of additional health problems.


    Leave it to the Professionals

    If you haven’t found a rhythm for cleaning your retainer, let our Boise orthodontist team help.  Just like your 6 month dental appointment, a professional cleaning can ensure your retainer is cleaned properly.  That’s not to say, you only need it cleaned on the occasion when you visit our office; you still need to brush and rinse it every day.


    As with anything regarding your orthodontia care, feel free to reach out to us with questions.  Our Facebook page may also hold the answers you seek.  We are happy to help and want to make sure you maintain the beautiful smile you worked so hard towards with your braces.