How Should Retainers Be Cared For?
Retainers are devices worn over the teeth to protect them from moving from their new corrected positions. Most people wear braces to adjust their teeth to a better position, so the retainer functions to maintain the new position. This is because retainers help your teeth’s tissues and muscles hold the teeth firmly in the new position.
Why Should You Clean Your Retainers?
There are different types of retainers, and the major differences are seen in how they are worn and maintained. Due to how some retainers are worn, people question if there is a need to have them cleaned. Regardless of how you wear your retainers, they need to be cleaned.
Retainers would harbor organisms and gather plaque and tartar if left unclean throughout the time you wear them. Some people don’t clean the retainers not because they don’t want to but because they don’t know how to.
Cleaning your retainer ¹is great, and you may have thought about how to disinfect your retainer a couple of times. Retainers can be disinfected but not with the disinfecting agents commonly known.
Can Retainers Be Disinfected?
Retainers can be disinfected just like your toothbrushes when you follow some basic disinfecting methods. This is because disinfecting gets deep into your retainer and kills organisms, something cleaning alone may not fully do.
However, knowing how to disinfect your retainer can be tricky because² most disinfecting agents are harsh and can damage the retainer. Not to worry, some special disinfecting agents are just right for you.
Cleaning Agents To Avoid While Cleaning Retainers
Retainers need the utmost attention while you clean them; however, most users have cared for them in the wrong ways. Certain items should be avoided while you clean or disinfect your retainers.
Mouthwash and Retainer Cleaner
Mouthwash and retainer cleaners should be avoided when looking for ways to disinfect and clean your retainer. They are advertised as cleaning agents for retainers, but their colorants can stain retainers.
Disinfectant wipes are used mainly for counters and other house surfaces; now, imagine using those for your retainer. Yes, they are said to kill bacteria, but not those found in your retainer. The chemicals in the wipes are harmful to your teeth and can leave you with some unpleasant taste. This makes it completely unnecessary for retainers.
This particular cleaning agent may surprise you because it is important to your dental health. The ingredients in Toothpaste can be too harsh for your retainer and cause some dulling and scratching on your retainer’s plastic.
It has been discussed a few times how heat can damage your retainer. Soaking your retainer in hot water can make it lose its original shape and ultimately lose its function of keeping your teeth in the position it’s been corrected into. In looking for how to disinfect your retainer, the orthodox use of hot water may not be the best.
Some cleaning agents made for retainers contain alcohol, which is also too harsh for your retainer. Using alcohol as a disinfectant for your retainer can cause it to dry out, which can be uncomfortable for you as you go through the day.
Cleaning Agents Suitable For Disinfecting Retainer
While we have listed some cleaning agents best to avoid when disinfecting or cleaning your retainers, here are a few cleaning agents that can be used for³ disinfecting your retainer without leaving any damage.
Water And Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide may seem harsh because of its properties. It is quite effective for cleaning your retainer and killing the organisms on it. When using it for your retainer, it is best to mix it with water. You can make a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. The solution may contain only about 3% hydrogen peroxide.
There is a difference between warm and hot water, so the effect of both on your retainer is different. Soaking your retainer in warm or cool water can help disinfect it without losing shape as hot water would.
Water and Vinegar
This can be a great alternative when you do not have hydrogen peroxide at home and need to use homemade disinfecting methods. To avoid tasting vinegar while wearing your retainer, you should soak it in vinegar mixed with water. You can also use this with the 50/50 solution method. After the mixture, you may soak your retainer for about 20 minutes.
Water and Baking Soda
You may consider using water and baking soda to clean and disinfect the retainer. This method kills odor and bacteria and washes off plaque from your teeth. The mixture of baking soda and water can replace toothpaste because the mixture is thick, like a paste. Use a brush to apply the paste all around your retainer.
This is a great invention in recent times that has stood out as the⁴ safest disinfecting agent you can use for your retainer. You can generate Hypochlorous Acid as soon as you need it from table salt, electricity, and water. Hypochlorous Acid is gentle, effective, natural, and safe for disinfecting your retainer.
Get it now and start disinfecting your retainer with no fear of damage.
Other Uses of Hypochlorous Acid
We said earlier that hypochlorous acid is a general disinfectant. These are the other things that hypochlorous acid can be used to disinfect:
- Food Produce
- Surgical/Medical Equipment
- Household furniture and fittings
- Toilets and bathrooms, among others.