Boiling water is for tea, not retainers! Swords Orthodontics' 7 Steps to great retainer care
After last week where Swords Orthodontics had the unholy trinity of orthodontic retainer complaints (lost/broken/eaten by dog), this week we had a patient in who told me their retainers didn't fit after their mum tried to freshen up the retainers by soaking them in boiling water. Fortunately they realised as soon as there was a problem and got back in touch with us so we were able to make new retainers immediately, so they didn't have to go too long without the benefit of an orthodontic retainer, and that meant that they could reliably keep their orthodontic result.
So just to summarise:
- Only use cold water to clean your orthodontic retainer.
- Use a tooth brush, but you don't really need tooth paste - it's a bit abrasive and will make the retainer less invisible over time.
- Hot water will distort the retainers that we typically use - they're heat sensitive.
- Keep the retainers safe in a hard-shell brace box when they're not in the mouth.
- Retainers can weaken by drying out during the day before you wear them at night, so keep them slightly wet during the day with some damp cotton wool in the brace box.
- If your retainers are discoloured or need a bit more of a clean, use a special brace cleaning product like Retainer Brite or Brace-Mate (available from us or in good chemists).
- If you ever have a problem with your orthodontic retainers or braces fitting well, get in touch with us immediately.
If in doubt, call your orthodontist.