Taking care of and storing your retainer properly when you aren't wearing it is essential. Here’s how to keep your retainer clean and damage free.
When should you remove your retainer?
If you need to wear their retainers full time, you'll remove it to eat, to brush and floss your teeth, or to clean your retainer. While playing sports, you should take your retainer out and replace it with an athletic mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you wear your retainer part time, it'll spend more time in its storage case, which is the only place you should put it when it's not in your mouth. But before you put it in there…
Clean your retainer.
There's not much point in brushing your teeth if your retainer is still dirty when you put it back in your mouth. Brush your retainer each time you brush your teeth to remove bacteria and plaque buildup:
- Take your retainer out of your mouth
- Rinse the retainer under cool tap water
- Use a small dab of toothpaste and your toothbrush to gently brush your retainer to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup.
- Rinse the retainer with cool water again.
Store your retainer.
Once your retainer is clean, either put it straight back in your mouth, or into its case.
Don’t leave it lying on the bathroom counter, or wrapped up in a tissue while you eat; these are surefire ways to lose or damage your retainer.
Also avoid leaving your retainer anywhere hot, like in the car on a sunny day, or near the stove, as heat can warp the plastic.