How To Brush & Floss Your Teeth With Retainers
Some of us have gone through the tiring ordeal of having braces.
13:32 12 January 2021
The average time for traditional braces to straighten one’s teeth is two years, but it can take as long as six years! Once the braces are taken off, the next step is wearing retainers for teeth.
What most people don’t know is that you need to take good care of your retainers. It’s a very important dental treatment. The more you take care of your retainers, the better it’ll maintain your straight and healthy smile.
Here are some easy tips anyone can follow to make their retainers last a long time.
Take it out before eating, brushing, and flossing
The great thing about retainers for teeth is they are removable, unlike the braces. So make sure that you take them out whenever you eat or clean your teeth.
Retainers come in with a case or a pouch that you can bring in your bag. When you are going out to eat, place your retainers in the case. Don’t make the common mistake of wrapping them in a napkin or tissue especially in restaurants! You or someone else might accidentally leave it, or worse, throw it in the trash. It might come as a surprise that retainers are expensive and it will be costly to make another trip to the dentist if you ever lose yours - so be mindful of them.
Lastly, never brush or floss while wearing your retainers. You will largely miss most areas of your mouth and gums. The toothbrush may even accidentally displace the retainers which will affect the way your teeth are straightening out. Always remove them before brushing and flossing your teeth.
Rinse and clean before storing
Just like how you brush your teeth everyday, you need to do the same with your retainers. Retainers can act as an extra surface where tartar and plaque can build up, so rinse and brush them like you would your teeth. A regular toothbrush and toothpaste will do.
Another safe way to clean them is by soaking your retainers in a glass of water with some baking soda. Baking soda also acts as a cleanser so it will get rid of the tartar and dirt that are on your retainers.
When storing them, make sure it’s not in a humid container because it might breed mold and bacteria. Dry it first before storing and make sure there’s sufficient airflow (like a light cloth pouch) so that molds will not grow if you don’t wear them everyday.
Avoid the use of chemicals
Using cleansers or chemicals on retainers for teeth is actually bad for them! Fluoride toothpaste and water are sufficient to clean them, paired with consistent brushing. Adding vinegar to the baking soda and water mixture will also help clean it more thoroughly.
Make it a point to never use bleach or mouthwash with alcohol. These can damage your retainers and even your dental health. Lastly, never boil your retainers to sterilize them. The hot water can warp the metal and melt the plastic, thus destroying the shape of your retainers and rendering them useless.
Oral care is an important part of our health that we often overlook. Wearing retainers for teeth is a big help.
Be sure to follow these simple tips to maintain your retainers - so you can enjoy a better smile and improved dental health.