A Dirty Retainer May Cause More Harm Than Good

The retention phase of your orthodontic treatment is critical. A retainer is the final step that ensures your teeth don’t shift back into their original position. When it comes to your retainer, you’ve probably been told one loud and clear rule: Wear Your Retainer!  This is important, as the appliance certainly can’t do its job if you don’t wear it like you’ve been instructed. However, there is another important rule about your retainer that you must not neglect – Clean Your Retainer!

If you get lazy and pop your retainer in and out without cleaning it on a daily basis, you’ll introduce germs and bacteria in your mouth that could threaten your oral health as well as your overall health. Just like your teeth, your retainers need to be diligently cleaned.

Are Your Retainers Clean or Dirty?

The truth is, you have bacteria living on your retainers right now. A retainer that is not cleaned on a daily basis, however, can harbor potentially dangerous microbes and other harmful bacteria. In fact, Candida is a common fungus that lives on retainers. Candida can start out as harmless, but can grow to cause a yeast infection in the body. Staphylococcus has also been found on orthodontic appliances, which can result in a serious staph infection.

Here’s the hard part; we’re talking about microscopic organisms. So you can’t see these harmful threats with your own eyes. Therefore, the only way to ensure your retainer is free of dangerous germs is to clean it every night and morning, depending on how much you wear it during the day.

Ways To Clean Your Retainer

The good news is that you can still wear your retainer without compromising your immune system. It requires a few minutes each day to clean the appliance. Most patients opt to do this after they brush their teeth. You can effectively remove harmful germs and bacteria by cleaning your retainers one of the following ways:

  • Good old-fashioned scrubbing with toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Soaking in denture cleanser (Efferdent or Polident) or baking soda and water (equal parts).

Another essential part of taking care of your retainer is storing it in a dry place. Never rinse your retainer and close it in the case for several hours, as this creates a moist, dark environment for bacteria to breed. In addition, avoid using hot water or dishwashers to clean your retainers. Lastly, don’t forget to clean your retainer case!

At Walton Orthodontics, we want to make sure your straight smile is retained nicely – but never at the cost of an infection or sickness caused by a dirty retainer. Do yourself a favor and make it a priority to wear your retainers as well as clean them on a daily basis.

Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy, #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

Your New Favorite Suwanee, GA, Orthodontist For
Braces & Invisalign
Great for kids and teens of all ages. It's fantastic because Dr. Walton is an expert in what he does and that's giving braces. Another dentistry wanted to remove 4 if my teeth and give me 4 years of braces, but Dr. Walton let me keep my teeth with only 2 years of braces!- M. I. walton orthodontics reviews
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Doctor Walton has tremendously helped my whole teeth ordeal. In the past 2 years, I went from messed-up teeth to not-messed-up teeth to braces. And now, I'm getting them off. (Now I can eat gum and popcorn.) I am super excited!- Wyatt S. walton orthodontics reviews
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suwanee ga orthodontist braces consultation

Dr. Walton, our 5-star rated Suwanee, GA, orthodontist specializes in orthodontic care for you or your child with the most advanced types of braces for children, teens, and adults. These types of braces include metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon braces, In-Ovation braces, braces behind your teeth and short-term braces. Visit our convenient Suwanee orthodontic office serving patients in Suwanee, Cumming, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Duluth and Milton, GA. Call 770.663.0955 today for your or your child's complimentary, no-obligation consultation for braces or Invisalign today!

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