The process of straightening your teeth doesn’t end at the removal of your metal or ceramic braces. After you have got your braces off, you still need to wear retainers in order to maintain the straight teeth you’ve worked on for so long. The purpose of retainers is to give your teeth some time to adjust and settle into their new position.
Wearing retainers is usually the final step before you can fully enjoy the bright and straight smile you’ve always wanted. But just like your braces, your retainers need proper care and maintenance too.
Retainers that aren’t maintained well can break or deteriorate in the long run. Some of the most common signs of poorly maintained retainers are having an unpleasant smell or taste, the presence of a visible film-like substance over them or a cloudy appearance. The presence of these things usually indicates mineral build-up, such as tartar and plaque, in the teeth and the retainer.
To avoid the hassle and embarrassment of poorly maintained retainers, it’s important that you keep them clean. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Wash them with water
Water is considered the top cleaning solution when it comes to maintaining all types of dental appliances, including retainers, implants, metal braces, and invisible braces in Singapore. Not only is it effective in cleaning retainers, but it can also combat a dry mouth, which is often linked to tooth decay. Here are a few steps to wash your retainers with water:
- Whenever you take your retainers off, soak them in clean Letting your retainers dry out completely is discouraged because it can make them warp.
- After every meal, brush your retainers with warm water to avoid the buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances.
- If you think deeper cleaning is necessary, mix in some mild dish soap when washing your retainers and use a toothbrush to remove the remaining debris.
2. Clean them with castile soap
Castile soap is another effective cleaning solution that is safe and suitable for retainers. It is readily available at most stores, but you can also make your own with a solution of olive oil and coconut soap. Here are some things to keep in mind when using this solution:
- To clean retainers with castile soap, you need to add only a small amount to warm water.
- Dip the retainers into the mixture and scrub them with a stiff toothbrush.
- Leave the retainers to soak for at least 2 to 3 minutes before scrubbing again.
- Rinse your retainers with cool water.
3. Disinfect them with baking soda
Baking soda is a popular solution when it comes to cleaning dentures. Thanks to its disinfectant properties, baking soda is an excellent option to use when cleaning your retainers as well. Baking soda works quite effectively at controlling bacteria and preventing your retainers from developing harmful pH imbalances. Here are three simple steps you must follow when cleaning your retainers with baking soda:
- Create a paste mixture for cleaning your retainers by combining equal parts of baking soda and water. Make sure that the paste is thick enough to stick to your retainers.
- Using a toothbrush, apply the paste to your retainers and gently brush away at them.
- Afterwards, rinse your retainers thoroughly to remove the residues.
4. Soak them in vinegar
Just like baking soda, vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can remove odours and residues on your retainers. Vinegar is particularly effective in eliminating calcium and other mineral deposits that might be lingering on your denture.
However, keep in mind that vinegar has a strong smell. Therefore, cleaning your retainers in a separate dish is highly recommended when using this solution. Here are the steps to clean your retainers with vinegar:
- Mix a solution of vinegar and water equally in a bowl or disposable dish.
- Let your retainers soak in the solution for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- After soaking, thoroughly rinse your retainers and place them in a container with distilled water.
Just like how you took care of your braces, keeping your retainers clean and odour-free is very important. Your cleaning discipline should not stop the moment you take off your braces and having good oral hygiene should be a lifetime commitment!
In general, your orthodontist will recommend ways to clean your retainer after the end of your braces treatment. Alternatively, these methods can also work well. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our metal braces cost in Singapore or book your first appointment today!