It's very important to take care of your retainer and store it properly during times you’re not wearing it. Here’s how to keep it clean and damage free.
When should you remove your retainer?
If your orthodontist has prescribed full-time retainer wear, you should only remove it to eat, and to brush and floss your teeth, or to clean your retainer. If you play sports, 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’ll have it out and stored more frequently.
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.
You can brush your retainer daily, and ideally 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 you have cleaned your retainer, it should go straight back in your mouth, or straight into its case.
Don’t leave it lying on the bathroom counter, and don't simply wrap in a tissue while you eat; these are surefire ways to lose or damage your retainer accidentally.
Also remember to never leave your retainer anywhere hot, like in the car on a sunny day, or near the stove, as heat can warp the plastic.