Once your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces have been removed, you’ll need to wear a dental retainer! This retainer will allow you to keep your smile straight and beautiful for years to come. Without a retainer, your teeth may shift back to their original positions, possibly even require a second set of braces in the future! Because your dental retainer is going to be a part of your oral hygiene routine forever, it’s important that you know to properly care for it.

Properly Caring for Your Dental Retainer

Bacteria live in the mouth, no matter how well you brush and floss. These bacteria will build upon your dental retainer while you wear it at night. If not taken care of, your retainer will begin to smell, taste, and look unpleasant. Calcium deposits may also form on the retainer. This is why it’s important to clean and sanitize your retainer regularly. Below are a few tips on how to help you keep your retainer clean and intact:

  1. Brushing your retainer is a good idea, although your brush may have a difficult time reaching all of the surfaces. Because of this, consider soaking your retainer in a retainer cleaning solution during the day when you aren’t wearing it. Make sure that the cleaning solution you’re using is anti-bacterial.
  2. As mentioned above, you can brush your retainer with a soft toothbrush or a dental brush. Do not use toothpaste to clean the retainer as the abrasives in toothpaste can damage it. Instead, use warm water or mild dish soap to clean the retainer.
  3. If you begin to notice calcium deposits forming on your retainer, you’ll need the help of Dr. David Garlock to remove them. A tartar-removing solution can be used to clean the calcium deposits off of the dental retainer.
  4. Lastly, it’s important that you clean and rinse your retainer immediately after taking it out of your mouth, preferably while it’s still wet. Allowing the bacteria in the saliva to harden before cleaning it will make it much more difficult.

Properly caring for your retainer will make it last longer, saving you the money you would need to purchase a replacement. To make an orthodontic appointment or if you have any other questions about your dental retainer, please contact Garlock Orthodontics at our Aurora, Colorado orthodontic office.