Did you know that according to a recent survey conducted by Colgate over 47 percent of people notice the smile on a person? The smile ranked number one in the poll, and that’s why millions of people choose to have orthodontic work done on their teeth each year. The most common treatment is having your teeth straightened using braces, Invisalign, or other brands of aligners. After the treatments are completed, the users will need to wear a retainer to prevent their teeth from shifting back. These clear plastic retainers are valuable in keeping your smile perfect but without proper care, they can snap or crack. Here are a few tips to prolong the longevity of your retainers.
Properly Cleaning and Removing Your Retainer:
The most important thing you can do to keep your retainer from cracking is to give it a proper cleaning. Daily cleansing your retainer is simple but important. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and some unscented anti-bacterial soap and scrub your retainers for 60 seconds before washing under warm running water. Do not wash under hot or cold water as the extreme temperatures can affect the Essix material that your clear plastic retainers are made from.
Cleaning your retainer in a routine will help prevent bacteria and mineral deposit build-up. A dirty retainer is more susceptible to cracking due to the weakening of the material from the bacteria. If you see white or yellow spots on your retainers, those are a red flag that you need to clean your retainers immediately.
Did you know that the most common way to crack or break your retainer is when you are removing it from your mouth? By pulling on one end of your retainer you are inserting pressure on the rest of the dental product and risk snapping it. To properly remove your retainer from your mouth, gently pinch both back ends of the retainer with your finger and pull up or down depending on which retainer you are moving. The motion should feel like you are unplugging your retainer. This is the safest way to prevent your retainer from breaking during the process of removal.
Keep Your Retainer Protected:
You’d be surprised at how many pets love to play with retainers. Dogs especially love the smell of retainers. This is why giving your retainer a daily cleaning is important to keep the scent of your food off the clear plastic because your dog will see it as a treat. Dogs and cats continue to chew up retainers rendering the dental device useless in just one chomp. Your clear plastic retainers are especially enticing to dogs because the Essix material used in the retainers is the same plastic found in many dog toys that soothe their teeth when they chew on them.
Aside from cleaning your retainer, make sure you keep it properly protected in a storage case. These cases should always be kept closed and locked to add a layer of protection. The best defense against a pet finding your retainers is to keep your storage case in your nightstand drawer. This makes it harder for them to smell the retainer or have access to it. Keeping your retainer in your nightstand also prevents it from resting in the sunlight from any windows. Sunlight can weaken the Essix material that the plastic is made from.
Eventually, no matter how well you take care of your retainers they will need to be replaced. Replacing your cracked or damaged retainers can be a hassle and expensive if you need to visit your dentist. Fortunately, you can find replacement retainers with online retailers. Sporting Smiles is the leading online dental retailer for retainers, and you can order a pair of retainers and receive them without leaving your home.