It's very important to take care of your retainer and store it properly when you aren't wearing it. Here’s how to keep it clean and damage free.
When should you remove your retainer?
For those who need to wear their retainers full time, it should only be removed to eat, and to brush and floss your teeth, or to clean your retainer. During athletic activities, you should take your retainer out and replace it with an athletic mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you only wear your retainer part time, you won't have it in your mouth as frequently, and it'll spend more time in its storage case.
Whatever your retainer wear prescription, it's very important that you always store your retainer safely in its case. But before you put it in there…
Clean your retainer.
There's not much point in brushing your teeth if you put a dirty retainer back in your mouth when you're done. Brush your retainer each time you brush your teeth, to remove bacteria and plaque buildup. To do this,
- Take your retainer out of your mouth
- Rinse the retainer under cool tap water
- Place a small dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush and gently brush your retainer to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup.
- Rinse the retainer with cool water again.
Store your retainer.
Once your retainer is clean, put it straight back in your mouth, or straight into its case.
Don’t leave it lying on the bathroom counter, or wrapped up in a tissue while you eat; these are surefire ways to lose or damage your retainer.
Also avoid leaving your retainer anywhere hot, like in the car on a sunny day, or near the stove, as heat can warp the plastic.