Some people think retainers are just a pain, something to be worn for a year and then forgotten about. But they’re wrong! Retainers are an important part of dental care, and they play a crucial role in preventing teeth from moving back to their original positions.
However, if you’ve been wearing your retainers as prescribed, you may have noticed they start to smell after a while. This is because bacteria and plaque can build up on the retainer, and when combined with saliva, it creates an unpleasant odor. Luckily, there are ways to deep clean your retainers and remove the bacteria that cause the smell.. Find out how to properly clean retainers and how often this should be done.
Why Your Retainers Smell
While you may believe that your mouth is exclusively home to your teeth, the truth is that your mouth is full of germs that occur naturally in the environment. As a byproduct of its growth, bacteria produce gas as a waste product. This adds to both the fragrance that comes from your retainer as well as the stench in your mouth.
In addition, germs have a role in the formation of plaque and tartar on your teeth and retainer, both of which can be caused by improper oral hygiene. If plaque is allowed to build up on the retainer, it will eventually emit a pungent odor if this condition is allowed to persist. It’s not something you want to put in your mouth, that’s for sure.
As a byproduct of its growth, bacteria produce gas as a waste product. This adds to the odor that comes from your retainer and the stench in your mouth. In addition, germs have a role in forming plaque and tartar on your teeth and retainer, both of which can be caused by improper oral hygiene. If plaque is allowed to build up on the retainer, it will eventually emit a pungent odor if this condition is allowed to persist. It’s not something you want to put in your mouth, that’s for sure. The good news is that you may help limit the danger of buildup and avoid the smell by performing routine maintenance.
Poor Dental Hygiene
You can find over 700 distinct varieties of bacteria naturally in the mouth, and it is easy for these bacteria to build up while you are sleeping at night. If you don’t practice good dental hygiene, these particles may start to rot and produce gasses with a putrid odor, which will cause your retainer to have an offensive odor. This is not only inconvenient, but it also increases your likelihood of developing oral health problems such as gum disease and cavities. If your retainer has a musty odor, you should get a new one so that your smile stays clean and healthy.
How to Deep Clean Your Retainers
The way in which you care for your teeth and retainer is the single most important factor in determining whether or not your appliance emits an offensive odor. The only way to prevent germs, plaque, and tartar buildup is to clean your teeth on a regular basis. Let’s have a look at the specific steps that need to be taken by you.
Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is not only the most secure method for cleaning your retainer but also does a significantly better job than the retainer cleaners you can buy at the grocery store. You can find baking soda in most kitchens.
Baking soda keeps harmful bacteria at bay. Baking soda has the ability to naturally regulate the pH of the mouth, which prevents the growth of bacteria that are the root cause of issues in the mouth. Baking soda helps address this issue by neutralizing the mouth’s pH and rebalancing the oral microbiome. Typically, the “bad guys” that create trouble in the mouth thrive in an environment with a higher acidity level. Due to the higher pH, baking soda can also serve as a disinfectant for retainers.
Baking soda is an effective deodorizer that can be used to eliminate the odor that is typically associated with retainers. Baking soda is an all-natural, non-toxic, and highly efficient deodorizer that can be used on retainers and other dental devices that begin to smell like rotting fruit after some time has passed. If done so regularly, it will unquestionably eliminate the odor.
Using White Vinegar
Your retainer can be kept clean and germ-free by soaking it once every few days in a solution of white vinegar for fifteen minutes. After soaking it in vinegar, your retainer needs to be completely rinsed, and then you should place it in a container made of stainless steel and filled with distilled water.
Using Denture Cleaner
Denture cleaning can be used to safely clean a retainer on occasion, particularly if no other option is available. This is particularly important to keep in mind when there is no other available alternative. Denture cleaners, on the other hand, have the potential to yellow your retainer over time.
People should rinse the retainer before allowing it to soak in the denture cleaner for around twenty minutes. This is the first step in the cleaning process when using denture cleaner. After removing it, they should give it a light cleaning using a soft toothbrush.
If, after this process, the retainer still has the flavor of denture cleaning, you should continue rinsing it until it no longer does.
Using Castile Soap
Castile soap is a few cleaning products with a low toxicity level. Castile soap is readily accessible at most retail establishments, but people can produce their own using a solution made of olive oil and coconut soap.
Castile soap can be used to clean retainers, and users should mix a very small amount of the soap with some warm water. They can then clean the retainer by scrubbing it with a toothbrush after dipping it into the mixture.
It is recommended that the retainer be let soak for two to three minutes before being washed once more, if necessary. After that, it should be washed with lukewarm water and then either put back into the mouth or placed in water that has been distilled.
Is toothpaste effective in cleaning retainers?
It is not recommended that you use toothpaste to clean your retainer. It works well for cleaning your teeth. However, it is not appropriate for cleaning your retainers. Toothpaste typically has abrasive chemicals, which help clean the enamel on your teeth. Your enamel is hard and can withstand the pressure. If you try to clean your retainers with toothpaste, you will damage the delicate materials that make up your retainers.
When it comes to something that will be put back into your mouth, milder cleaning products, such as baking soda, are preferable. The harsh chemicals found in cleaning products are taken up by the retainer, which results in the retainer being drier.
Consult with Kumra Orthodontics to learn more about how to keep retainers from smelling
If you are experiencing any bad breath or health problems, it is important to consult with your orthodontist. At Kumra Orthodontics, we want our patients to have healthy smiles and retainers that smell good too! We can help you find the best way to keep your retainers clean and smelling fresh. Contact us today for more information on caring for your retainer and maintaining optimal oral health.