Insides to How to Clean a Retainer While Avoiding Bacteria Build Up

Over time, your retainers are bound to collect some bacteria, tartar, or germs coming from or outside your mouth. As time passes, if you don’t clean your device, it might tend to smell a bit rotten and give birth to several other problems. 

Dirty retainers can encourage dangerous bacteria like Streptococcus, including S. sanguinis, S. mitis, and S. salivarius, in addition to Lactobacillus and Veillonella, which may cause illness in your body. Most of the kids have to wear retainers for some time after taking off their braces, so it’s important to take good care of them throughout the time. Here are some simple ways you can keep your retainers away from bacterial growth.

  • Keep it away from heat

It’s important to note that keeping your retainers in a warm and heated atmosphere can ruin its quality. Always keep the retainer away from microwaves, dishwashers, and dashboards of your car. Make sure you don’t let in bacterial growth in the process. Therefore wash your retainers regularly only with lukewarm water and don’t use boiling water in order to clean it.

  • Visit your dentist 

If you want to disinfect, your retainers pay a visit to your dentist. If you find something awkward in your retainer or suspect dirt and bacterial growth in it, its better to get it disinfected by professionals. The clinic has ultrasonic cleaners and several other cleaning solutions to get rid of unnecessary risks. Also, if needed, you can purchase an ultrasonic cleaner yourself; it is also an option.

  • Using vinegar to get rid of germs

One the most effective ways to clean plastic objects is using vinegar. Vinegar acts as a natural sanitizer and cleans your retainers properly to keep them disinfected. White vinegar must be kept in distilled water inside a steel container. A 15- minute soak every once in a while can help someone clean retainer with vinegar. Just make sure you thoroughly rinse your retainer in the process.

  • Clean it with Baking soda

Baking soda is a safe way to clean up your retainers.  Baking soda also stabilizes the pH of the mouth leading to the minimization of bacterial growth.  Typically, all bad bacteria thrive in an acidic environment; therefore, neutralizing the pH inside your retainer is important to keep it germ-free. Baking soda is easily accessible from the market and doesn’t cost much, but it surely does wonders when it comes to cleaning things. Not to mention baking soda is also effective in removing the stink from the retainers. Many a times, after few days of usage, your retainer might smell a bit rotten. Baking soda is an effective yet safe way of removing that odor as it acts as a natural deodorizer.

  • Keep a watch and keep away from chemicals

If you have a pet residing in your house, its better to keep your retainers away from them. Keep looking out for any awkwardness or unnecessary dirt in your retainers. Be smart in your actions; try keeping them in a safe and tidy place or keep them wrapped in tissue if necessary. 

Retainers stay in your mouth and have direct contact with your mouth; keeping them away from dirt is important. Likewise, there are certain chemicals you would want to avoid while cleansing it.  That being said, use natural remedies to get rid of bacteria as some chemicals can be harsh on your retainers.

Cleaning your retainer is a good habit to pursue over. It’s as important as brushing your teeth.  It helps you keep your dental structure in shape, and the least you can do is taking care of it for your own benefit. We have already discussed some effective ways to cleanse your dental device; for more information, it’s legit to contact your dentist if needed.

Written by 

John Willis is a graduate of Developmental Communication from the University of the Philippines. He works for as the editorial manager of the team.