Retainer Care for your Kids
Last week we talked about the importance of caring for braces, so this week I want to turn our attention to caring for your retainer.
If there is one thing having braces shows, it’s that teeth can move a lot. Without proper use of (and care for) your retainer, your teeth will likely shift back in the direction they were before you had your braces to begin with. Plus, without proper cleaning, your retainer can transfer germs and bacteria that can get you sick and damage our teeth.
I always tell patients to try and make a habit of brushing their retainer as often as they brush their teeth. You already have your toothbrush handy, so give it a quick once over while your brushing. This will help to prevent bacteria from reentering your mouth after you’ve just cleaned it. Be sure not to use toothpaste though as it may scratch the retainer and promote bacterial growth.
At least once per week, soak your retainer in a denture cleaning solution. This will give it a much-needed deep clean.
Keeping your retainer clean is important, but keeping it in one piece is perhaps doubly so. If you wear a retainer during the day, keep it in your mouth as much as possible. If you have to pop it out for some reason, be sure to put it in its case or in a clean dish like a cup or bowl. Avoid wrapping it in a napkin, as that’s a good way to forget it or accidentally thrown away.