Dr. Kavanaugh is always excited when it comes time to remove a set of braces! The removal of braces is the milestone that every orthodontics patient looks forward to – it means a healthy, attractive new smile, and a return to some normal habits without the hassle of brackets and wires. As a provider of top-quality orthodontics in Kansas City, the staff of Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics loves sharing these moments with our patients. However, this is not the end of your orthodontic treatment. The final stage of your treatment is one of the most long-term and important parts – retention.
What is a Retainer?
The final stage of your treatment helps make sure you retain your stunning new smile for life. To do this, a retainer must be worn. A retainer is a removable accessory that is worn regularly to help maintain the alignment of your teeth as your bones and other surrounding tissue adjust to the new position of your teeth. Although there are different types of retainers, they are all specially fitted to ensure the longevity of your smile.
How to Clean a Retainer
Because it’s worn several hours daily, it’s imperative to keep your retainer as clean as possible. There are a few ways to achieve this:
Rinse with Water
When taking your retainer out for short periods, take the time to run it under water after removing it and before putting it back in. This won’t deep clean it, but it will help quickly rinse away saliva and any other easily removable particles.
Mild Soap and a Soft Brush
For a deeper clean, you can use a mild soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub all around your retainer, paying particular attention to any small crevices. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse it well with running water before wearing it.
Retainer or Denture Cleaner
A safe alternative to physically scrubbing your retainer is using a special retainer or denture cleaner. These typically come in the form of a tablet that’s dropped into water. When added to water, the tablet will fizz and the bubbling solution will gently clean your retainer. Make sure to closely follow the instructions on the packaging and rinse your retainer well afterward.
White vinegar is a natural but effective way to deep clean and disinfects a retainer. Once a week, soak your retainer in white vinegar for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. While vinegar won’t cause any harm to you or your mouth, it will certainly taste unpleasant if any is left behind.
How Often to Clean Your Retainer
Since your retainer spends so much time in your mouth up against your teeth, it goes without saying that it’s very important to keep it clean. Your retainer should be rinsed several times a day (before and after removing it) and brushed as often as you would brush your teeth – at least twice a day but preferably anytime after eating.
Dr. Kavanaugh Provides Quality Orthodontics in Kansas City
Every step of your orthodontics treatment from consultation to retention is an important part of the process of obtaining a life-long healthy smile. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics strives to provide quality treatment no matter what stage of your orthodontic journey you are in. When looking for quality orthodontics, Kansas City trusts Dr. Kavanaugh to deliver. If you have questions or are ready to begin the process of achieving a dazzling, healthy smile – don’t wait! Contact us today to get started now.