Having a retainer is a great thing. It’s a wonderful oral health device that ensures you will have a straight, strong and pleasing smile for a long, long time to come. A retainer is sometimes the difference between a smile you want to hide and one you want to share with the world.

But did you know that some people don’t take proper care of their retainers? It’s true, some patients don’t clean their retainers or even tend to them in any way. That is a big shame since the benefits of a retainer can only be achieved if it remains in tip-top shape the entire time it is being used. If you aren’t taking care of your retainer, you are essentially not taking care of your teeth and all that time and energy will be for nothing. If your retainer isn’t in good shape, your teeth won’t be either.

Some people don’t know how to take care of their mouth retainer and that leads to a lot of common mistakes that are easily avoidable. If you or someone close to you is about to use a retainer, it is very important that you keep track of a few pointers to keep them clean and working like they should. You want your retainer clean and healthy so your teeth and smile can be as well.

The Benefits of a Retainer

A retainer for a mouth is one of the best, most effective ways to give you a smile that you are in love with. Far too many people all over the world are unsatisfied with the way they look. This can be because of crooked teeth, over bites, under bites or gaps and misalignments in many other fashions. Luckily, mouth retainers are able to fix these issues.

Many people wear retainers after they have already had braces installed and then eventually removed. In fact, retainers are often the last step in the braces process. Because of this, some people are tired of the constant routine of cleaning and maintaining the mouth appliance. This can lead to oversights and people forgetting to take the best care of their retainers. But it’s very important that the retainer is kept in great condition. If not, the teeth will shift and become crooked again.

Retainers are custom-made for each mouth. That means that your retainer will be specifically created for your smile with a achievable goal in mind. This means it is even more important that you take good care of it because, without it, your mouth won’t go through the necessary changes needed to look the way you planned.

Retainers are comfortable, so you don’t have to be afraid of them feeling odd or painful. Once your mouth adjusts to the retainer, you won’t even notice it most of the time. Just think of it as a helpful tool that is slowly but surely morphing your smile into the one you already dreamed of.

Cleaning Your Retainer

Despite what some people might think, cleaning your retainer is actually incredibly easy. In fact, it’s about as easy as cleaning your teeth – which is something you should be doing daily anyway! Keeping your retainer in the best shape possible is easy as can be and only requires a few steps added to your daily routine.

Water: While water isn’t enough to completely clean a retainer on its own, it’s an important piece of the puzzle. When you don’t have your retainer in mouth, you can easily gain access to all the nooks and crannies that need to be scrubbed down.

Simply take your retainer out of your mouth and run it under some water to get a nice little wash. This is a quick and easy way to keep your retainer constantly free of food debris or other things that could build up and cause harm.

But water is good for other reasons too. Did you know that drinking a lot of water is a great way to keep your mouth clean? For one, it’s far better than drinking sugary sodas that will lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Secondly, water is a great tool to wash away anything that might be building up, such as plaque. If you do want to drink a nice, yummy soda, make sure you take out your retainer as you do.

Water will keep your mouth healthy, will keep your retainer clear and will also prevent it from drying out. Dried retainers are prone to breaking so you want to make sure it never gets in that condition.

Toothpaste: while toothpaste is obviously made to scrub your pearly whites, it can also work wonders on your retainer too. Every morning and night when you brush your teeth, you should brush your mouth retainer as well. It’s a great way to clean your retainer and is as simple as brushing your teeth, something we are all familiar with.

As you can imagine, brushing your retainer is as simple as can be. Just take it out of your mouth, scrub it with your brush, and make sure you hit every single little spot that could become a problem area. Afterwards, simply run the retainer under water and it should be ready for use again.

Vinegar: Vinegar has always been known as a great cleaning agent and that’s true for retainers too. White vinegar specifically is a wonderful disinfectant that can get rid of residues and odors in short order.

All you need to do is clean your retainer with vinegar is take it out of your mouth and create a mixture of half white vinegar, half warm water and soak the retainer in that mixture for about 20 minutes. Afterward, use a toothbrush and let it soak in cold water for 20 more minutes.

These are just some of the many ways you can take care of your retainer. Of course, the best thing you can do for your retainer is make sure you use it often. Do not take it out unless you have to. The better you take care of it, the better your mouth will look and feel.

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