Retainers: Proper Care & Tips
It is important to know how to properly take care of your retainers, as they are made of a porous material. This means that whatever you use to soak them in, chances are they absorb it, so it also comes in contact with your gums, teeth and possibly you will be swallowing that, too.
As we have mentioned before, the chemicals in them can be harmful and even toxic.
First and foremost make sure to avoid the denture and retainer cleaners with zinc. Ingesting a lot of zinc without balancing it out with copper can cause neurological damage in the long run. This is due copper deficiency. For this reason, our Los Algodones dentists recommend getting zinc free cleaners.
Another thing to look out for in cleaners and mouthwashes is a certain chemical called persulfate. Persulfate is an allergen that is widely used in cleaning tablets, yet when consumed can have severe symptoms in the body. These allergic reactions include: tissue damage, irritation, rashes, breathing problems, low blood pressure and more.
Also, for those of you who soak your retainers and dentures in https://losalgodonesdentistsguide.com/mouthwash-types-benefits/mouthwash, please be wary of alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate. These two components do not really help the retainers as it dries them instead. This in turn can damage the quality and help you get bad breath.
Use baking soda to wash your retainers
We recommend using baking soda as it is very safe and simple to use. It also does a very good job compared to the different brands of cleansers out there.
By using baking soda, you are sure to get these benefits:
- It raises the pH inside your mouth. This is good as the harmful bacteria like an acidic environment which promotes their growth. By rising the pH you are making the environment more basic as well, which halts the growth of bad bacteria.
- It works as a deodorizer. If you have noticed that your retainers have acquired a bad smell through time, then using baking soda is for you! This also works for other dental devices such as dentures.
While we use our retainers, it is natural for bacteria, plaque and tartar so start accumulating on them. For this, we want to use a soft bristled toothbrush. Keep in mind that this will not inflict any damage onto the dental device.
What can damage my retainers?
This is a simple question we get asked here in Los Algodones, and the answer is quite simple:
- Letting your retainer dry out.
- Exposing your retainer to high temperatures, such as heat and boiling water.
- Your retainer being in contact with bleach, alcohol, and the like.
And such, what can I do to clean and take care of them?
As we have told you what damages them, it gives a bit of a hint of what to do in order to properly take care of them!
- Keep them most by not letting them dry out. If you are not using them, then they should be soaking! But never outside in the open, as that’ll surely make the bacteria start sticking to it.
- Use distilled water to soak them in. You can also add baking soda or some castile soap to the distilled water in other to help it even more.
- Brush them. This is even more important if you notice plaque building up around them. So make sure you brush them often.
- Remember that you can also take them to the dentist. Your dentist will be able to disinfect them and check if there is something that calls their attention. Depending on the material used for the retainer, it can harbor bacteria in its porosity.