I have had my retainers for years now. Not the same pair. I have had 3 replacement pairs since my first Essix retainers given to me by the hospital in December 2011.
In that time, I have heard all the warnings; don’t keep them in water, don’t use denture cleaner, don’t brush them with toothpaste, don’t use warm water. Apparently, all these things will break down the plastic. Well news is, general wear will break down the plastic. So there is very little you can do to prevent them breaking. The truth is, after a while they will just break. Plus, if it is a choice between putting dirty bacterial infested retainers on my teeth or clean retainers, I am saving my teeth and choosing the clean retainers every time. I did not go through this many years of treatment and pain to destroy my teeth.
So here is what I do to keep my retainers sparkling clean
Note: I still wear both my upper and lower retainers 1-2x per week and I wear them overnight.
- In the morning, I take the retainers out and wash them under cold clean water.
- After this I fill up my denture pot with water, add the retainers and pop in a non-scented Steradent Active Plus tablet.
- I leave the retainers to soak for the rest of the day while I go about my business.
- When I return home from work, I rinse the retainers and give them a light brush using the spare head on my electric toothbrush.
- Then I pop them back into the pot with clean water. I change the water once a day until the day comes for me to wear them again.
- When it is time to wear them again, I run them under cold water and brush them with my usual minty toothpaste and rinse.
- I brush my teeth, floss and then rinse.
- I then brush over my teeth with Eucryl and pop in the retainers. The Eucryl acts as a whitener and reduces the amount of bacteria and plaque building up under the retainer during the night.
I have tried many different ways of maintaining and keeping my retainers clean. This is the one that has been most effective.
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