How Should One Take Care Of Their Retainer

You just completed the orthodontic treatment, and you can finally have a braces-free smile.

However, there is one last thing you are required to do. Wear a retainer to ensure your teeth don’t shift back. A retainer keeps your teeth in position and straight for the rest of your life. Some patients need to wear one retainer either on top or below while others require both. Retainers are either removable or fixed, and you mostly wear them at night. To take good care of them, here are seven tips you should know.

Remove It Before Meals

Even though you have to wear your retainer 24/7, you should take it out before enjoying a meal. The reason you should remove the retainer for some minutes is to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged while chewing food.

Moreover, removing the retainer will ensure that it remains clean because plaque from the food you eat can get stuck and damage it, especially if you fail to clean the retainer properly. After consuming your meal, brush your teeth before wearing your retainers back.

Clean Them First Before Storing

To help remove tartar which builds on the surface of your retainer, rinse and brush it often. You can create a water and baking soda solution in a glass and soak the retainer or use your toothbrush to clean their surface.

If you no longer have to wear your retainers throughout but during the night, store it in a well-ventilated container to protect it from mold and bacteria.

Avoid Heat

Your retainer will function if it fits properly. After the doctor set’s it up, it’s your responsibility to take care of your retainer including storing it in a conducive environment.

According to dental hygienist school in San Diego, leaving your retainers in a hot car or windowsill can mess them up. Heat can cause them to melt or warp. Never put them in boiling water as well.

Soak It Often

What happens to any plastic if it gets too dry? It cracks. That’s not what you would want for your retainer. Whenever it’s not in your mouth, put it in a glass of water. Also, avoid some cleaners, especially the ones containing alcohol since they can cause your retainer to dry.

Also, you can mix water with a little vinegar in a glass or bowl, and soak your retainer in it. You can then clean it with your brush and rinse with cold water before leaving for work.

Use Protective Mouthguard During Sports

If you are an athlete, remove your retainer whenever you are in the field, and wear a protective mouthguard if necessary.

Contact sports such as boxing, sumo wrestling, football, or rugby can be dangerous to your retainer. Return it to its protective case and leave it in the locker room or sidelines and wear it after the game or practice.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Toothpaste and water alone are enough to clean your retainer and maintain its good look. It’s also okay to soak your retainer in a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and water. However, in order not to avoid going back to your orthodontist, never use bleach or a mouthwash made with alcohol.

Such products can weaken the plastic and damage your mouth. Just a reminder, never boil your retainer, or it will melt the plastic or warp the metal.

Wash Your Hands Before Wearing a Retainer, and After

Your hands touch many things including contaminated stuff, and you can transfer dangerous germs into your mouth if you forget to wash them.

Wash your hands with soap before wearing retainers and rewash them after you are done.


Practicing good hygiene is vital. Ensure you are cleaning your teeth as required and keep your retainer as clean as possible. You should also visit your dentist more often for cleaning services and to check your dental progress.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Did You Have A Weird Dream Last Night?

by Dr. Aldon Hilton

Top 5 Lifestyle Tips for Whiter Teeth

by Mubashir Mazhar

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.