How To Clean Retainers?

The method of cleaning orthodontic retainers depends on their type:

  • Removable Retainers – removable retainers are easier to clean. Simply remove the appliance and scrub it with a toothbrush without toothpaste. For deeper cleaning, immerse it in lukewarm water containing soap and brush it thoroughly. It is not advisable to use toothpaste for cleaning retainers. You may also use a cotton swab to clean the deepest areas of the retainers. 
  • Fixed Retainers – since these retainers cannot be removed, you will have to use dental floss to clean them. Take a 6-inch piece and use a floss threader to clean between your teeth. Hold the free end of the floss with your fingers and the other with the floss threader. Once the floss is under the retainer wire, move it up and down between the teeth to the gumline.  Repeat this step for all the teeth. 

How To Make Retainers More Comfortable?

If you’re having trouble wearing your retainers, there are ways in which you can make them more comfortable:

    • Wear your retainers as prescribed – the more you use them, the more comfortable they will become with time. 
  • Medication – you may also take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce the discomfort. 
  • Utility Wax – if a sharp edge of a retainer is pinching on your soft tissues, contact your dentist to get it fixed. In the meantime, apply utility wax over the sharp edge to avoid soft-tissue injury. 
  • Soft Diet – eating a soft diet helps reduce the discomfort caused by retainers. 

How Long Does A Retainer Hurt For?

Immediately after getting your retainers, you may experience slight pain and discomfort for the next few days. However, as your mouth becomes accustomed to the new appliance, the discomfort should subside. If the pain persists after a few weeks, or if your retainer wires are impinging or injuring your lips or cheeks, you should consult your orthodontist to have them checked. 

Wearing dental braces is just half of the treatment process. The rest involves wearing retainers to ensure that your teeth remain perfectly straight and aligned, giving you a charming and healthy smile. As long as you wear your retainers per your orthodontist’s instructions, you don’t have to worry about your teeth going back to their previous positions.