How to clean the removable orthodontic appliance?

Today the number of people who are using the removable orthodontic appliance for straitening and aligning their teeth is increasing. Even those who have had traditional brace should use a removable appliance such as a retainer to hold the alignment after the braces. So, it is very important how to clean removable orthodontic appliance for maintaining proper oral hygiene.

General tips to clean the removable orthodontic appliance

There are some general tips for caring a removable orthodontic appliance such as:

Know the type of your appliance

Although there are some general cleaning structures for the removable appliance you should know the type of your appliance. Because some cleaning products may not be proper for your appliance. For example, Hawley retainer is made of acrylic appliance featuring a wire that is molded to fit your mouth. A clear plastic retainer is invisible and is not as durable as an acrylic Hawley retainer and need a gentler cleaning method.

Common cleaning methods

There are some share cleaning methods for both invisible and acrylic appliance including:

  • You should remove and rinse your appliance before cleaning because you should rinse them when they are still moist with salvia. It helps you to remove debris before it dries and hardens.
  • It is important that brush your appliance with a soft bristle toothbrush or denture brush after each meal, in the morning and before bedtime.
  • Scrub the surface of the appliance gently in a circular motion in order to remove plaque and food particles.
  • In order to clean deep grooves and ridges, use cotton swabs, moistened with lukewarm and soapy water.
  • If your orthodontist recommended soaking your appliance in order to disinfect and remove bacteria, ask him/her about proper cleaners. Usually, people use denture cleaner tablets.

Sticky food dilemma

People with removable appliances should avoid sticky foods such as caramel and bubble gum. But for cleaning sticky stuff from your removable appliance you should do the following steps:

  • Clean your teeth with a toothbrush or denture brush and mild cleaners.
  • Place your appliance in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to harden the remained sticky stuff and then clean them again with a brush and mild soap.
  • If still there is some sticky stuff on your appliance, you should consult with your orthodontist to guide you on how to remove them.

Never forget to clean your appliance

removable orthodontic appliance

Always be active to clean your appliance because it is very important for your oral hygiene. The unclean appliance will taste odd and smell funny.

General tips for removable retainer care

There are also some general tips to clean removable retainer including:

  • Avoid heat. You should avoid cleaning your retainer from boiling water, dishwashers, microwaves, washers and dryers.
  • Avoid chemical cleaners. Don’t use harsh cleaners to remove bacteria from your retainer. In fact, chemical cleaning tablets don’t remove the number of bacteria more than simple brushing.
  • Watch the time of soak. Never soak a Hawley retainer for too long. If you want to clean your retainer with tablets, soak it as specified on the cleaning tablets.
  • Take care of your retainer. If you have a pet you should keep your retainer away from pets. You should place your retainer in a safe place.
  • Replace as needed. Your retainers may be worn or tear and they may need to be replaced. Some retainers may last six months while some others can last for 10 years.