Keeping retainers and aligners clean is another part of oral hygiene people have to adapt to while undergoing orthodontic work. At Ross Orthodontics, we want our patients to get the most benefit out of our aesthetically-pleasing Invisalign products, which is why we’re educating them on proper maintenance.
Anytime you remove your retainer is an opportunity to rinse it. It is easier to brush away plaque when a retainer is wet, and a retainer should also be rinsed before being put back in. However, retainers should only be cleaned with room-temperature or cool water—hot water can distort their shape, requiring them to be replaced. Retainers need to be brushed at least once a day. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush (not the same one you use on your teeth) and brushing thoroughly, but gently; otherwise, you may scratch the plastic surface, creating a space that is easier for bacteria to colonize.
Toothpastes designed for enamel therapy may contain gritty minerals which can cause scratches since teeth have natural protective films that artificial devices lack. On the other hand, toothpastes that are made specifically for dentures work well on retainers. Remember that the protective case needs to be cleaned regularly as well and that the cleaner your mouth is before you put your retainer in, the fewer opportunities there will be for plaque to build on it.
To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit SmilesbyRoss.com. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.