teeth retainerOral hygiene is extremely important, particularly if you are wearing a retainer. A dirty retainer, whether it is fixed/permanent or removable, can cause a number of problems ranging from mouth and gum infections to bad breath. Maintaining good oral health is actually quite simple, but it has to become part of your daily routine.

Regardless of the type of retainer, you should follow your orthodontist’s instructions for proper care and cleaning.

Fixed/permanent retainers

1.      Use Soft Bristle Brushes

It is best to clean this type of retainer with a soft-bristle toothbrush, and stroke up and down as you normally would. A Proxabrush, which is shaped to a point, can also help to gently remove any persistent food particles from in and around the retainer.

2.      Use Floss Threaders

Floss threaders are also a good way to keep your mouth fresh and bacteria-free. Essentially a stiff nylon thread with a loop at the end, the threader feeds regular dental floss between your teeth and around the wires.

Removable retainers

3.      Remove as Necessary

Removable retainers are normally worn full-time initially and eventually only used at night, after a period of time specified by an orthodontist. They should always be cleaned after eating, as food particles can get wedged in the hardware and be difficult to remove.

Once you take the retainer off your mouth, store it properly in its case so that it stays clean and doesn’t get broken or lost.

Removable retainers should be taken out of your mouth and brushed clean every day. They can also be soaked in a cleaning fluid, such as mouthwash or dissolved denture-cleaning tablets.

We look forward to meeting you on your first visit to our office. Our friendly orthodontist at Portland Braces will be happy to discuss your orthodontic treatment and help you understand the importance of wearing and cleaning your retainer.