People nowadays are more conscious of their teeth than ever. More people are visiting dental clinics to take services for the treatments needed in making the teeth healthy. As you may know, teeth grow with it. Thus just like how our body produces, teeth can be a little misplaced. So, the dentist always recommends using retainers.
Retainers are the customized device that helps in holding the teeth in its proper position after having teeth treatment, alignment, and other dental reassignment services. The word retainers mean to stay in place. It also does the same function for your teeth.
Are Retainers Essential?
Retainers are indeed essential, not for decoration or accessory but for their helpful function. It is made mainly from plastic and metal, and it is made to fit in your own teeth’ size. While some people may see it as just a decoration, it actually holds a lot of value to your teeth. Here is a list of retainer’s importance:
It Supports Your Teeth
When you just take off your brace, there is still a slight tendency that your teeth have not yet adapted to the bareness. Retainers act as substitute support to help your teeth in gaining a grasp of how strong they should be. Once your dentist checked and saw that your teeth gained the healthiness and strength it needs, you can then remove retainers.
It Positions Your Teeth
There are a lot of issues about teeth misplacement that can occur naturally to people. Retainers are made to make your teeth move in the right place. It serves as a guide to help your gums and teeth have the proper position, which enhances your dental health. You may not know it, but the role of teeth is crucial to have good eating, biting, and chewing that leads to better digestion. Better digestion means you’ll have a faster response to getting the right vitamins for your body. Thus, it is overall essential in your overall health.
What Are the Types of Retainer?
Before we move on to cleaning, you’ll first need to be oriented in the different types of retainers.
First, there are Removable retainers. It is a retainer that is made from metal and plastic. Many people prefer this kind of retainer since it can be removed when you need to, like when you want to eat comfortably and talk professionally. Removable retainers are only recommended to be worn thoroughly on the four to six months of getting it. After that, you can comfortably take it off whenever you feel like it.
The second type of retainer is the Permanent Retainer which lasts to support your teeth permanently for up to 20 years. It is preferable for people who want to align their teeth, especially the bottom part, or when you have a weak kind of teeth. Permanent teeth still vary in design, so you can still eat, speak and go out comfortably without the feeling of irritation in the retainer.
How to Clean Each Type of Retainer
Dental Clinics recommends retainer users clean them frequently. That’s because our mouth encounters a lot of bacteria every day, and it can be tucked in retainers and teeth if it is not appropriately cleaned, thus. In this part, we’ll get to know how to clean every kind of retainer. See the answer is “Can You Wash Retainers With Dish Soap?”
For Permanent Retainers
For permanent retainers, it is a must to take extra care towards toothbrushing and dental flossing. Most often, people with permanent retainers use floss threaders to get all the floss behind the bars of the permanent retainer. You can also try to floss it underneath to ensure that there is a no plaque that is building up in it.
For Removable Retainers
On the other hand, removable retainers actually have many more options to be cleaned because they need more maintenance than permanent ones. Here is an example guide on how to take care of your removable retainer in a proper way.
1, Do Not Clean Retainers With Heated Water
Retainers and hot water don’t really work well together, in an instance, it can actually damage or destroy the plastic parts of retainers. So if you see life hacks videos where they put retainers in the microwave or boil it in heated water, you can be assured that it is wrong. You can try to clean your retainers with warm and tap water instead of hot.
2, Can You Wash Retainers With Dish Soap? Yes.
Retainers can be magically cleaned with a little dish soap and warmed water when it is brushed with a soft-bristle kind of toothbrush. You may get weirded out by using dish soap but it actually acts as the disinfector and remover of bacteria such as Streptococcus that can make you sick eventually if not cleaned immediately.
Dish Soaps are milder and softer compared to heavy duty cleaning chemicals so it is more recommended in cleaning up retainers. Heavy chemicals might even cause you to get sick because it is not good for your health. So consider dish soap as a better option for your retainer.
Using lukewarm water, mix it with a little dish soap and use it as a solution to freshen up and kill bacterias in your retainer. But don’t let your retainer get soaked in the solution for too long because it might cause damage, and don’t do it very often too.
3, Talk to Your Orthodontist
Talking to your dentist about the proper cleaning of retainer so you can get the best advice towards your own retainer. You can also ask for the cleaning frequency and what kind of solution to use so that you can help your teeth and retainer to be healthier. Talking to your orthodontist can help you with the worries and presumptions that you get regarding retainers.
True enough, there are a lot of myths regarding retainers and how to take care of them. But dentist knows best.