It’s common to require a retainer once your braces have been removed–it’s a process that ensures your smile stays straight, just as intended. Depending on your treatment, you’ll likely have to wear a retainer anywhere from 12-23 hours a day, a process that might have you vulnerable to added bacteria around your teeth and gums throughout the day. 

Caring for your retainer is crucial to maintaining the health of your gums and teeth. Here are some tips you might need to make sure your retainer is as clean and shiny as your pearly whites. 

Keep a schedule 

As soon as you remove your retainer from your mouth, get in the habit of cleaning it right away. This will make it easier to remove any unwanted debris, guaranteeing nothing hardens or sticks to the surface. Your schedule should include cleaning your retainer with lukewarm water after each meal. 

Use the tools you have 

Cotton swabs, toothpaste, and lukewarm water are all great tools you have on hand to clean your retainer on a daily basis. Some recommend using a small amount of dish soap to clean your device as well. 

Use a special cleaner 

Ask your orthodontist about soaking your retainer in a cleaner like Efferdent or Polident. Mix the substance with lukewarm water in a glass or bowl and let it soak overnight.