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Caring for Your Removable Orthodontic Devices

Pile of orthodontic containersNot all orthodontic treatments are permanently attached to your mouth.  Some, like retainers or night guards, can be easily removed.  To keep your mouth healthy, and to keep these devices working properly, it is important to that you keep these devices clean.  To help take care of your removable orthodontic devices, keep the following three tips in mind.

Tip #1: Proper Storage

When a removable orthodontic device is not being used, the best way to keep it clean is to store it in a durable, airtight container. This will help prevent your device from coming in contact with any unseemly objects as well as protect it from bacteria and other germs.  Having a durable container will also help protect your device in case it is bumped or dropped.

The best place to store your container is in a cool, dry location.  This does not mean your bathroom, where the warm, wet air can cause your devices to warp.  The best place to store your device is in your bedroom, either on top of a dresser or on your nightstand. 

Tip #2: Regular Cleaning

There are several different ways to clean your device.  You should always make sure that the device is rinsed with cool water whenever you take it out of your mouth (before you put it in its storage device). This daily rinse should be accompanied by a more thorough cleaning on at least a weekly basis.  Soak your device in mouthwash or vinegar for a few minutes, then give it a good scrubbing with your toothbrush and some toothpaste.  Just make sure that you thoroughly rinse the device off after cleaning it so no residue remains. Dry it completely before putting it away.

It is also wise to clean your container on a weekly basis.  Wash it out with soap and hot water, followed by a thorough rinsing.  Make sure that the container is completely dry before putting your device inside.

Tip #3: Weekly Inspection

Your weekly cleaning it is a good time to give your device a thorough inspection.  During this time check for any rips, tears, or bent pieces.  If you notice any problems, check in with your orthodontist to see if the device needs to be brought in.  It is also a good idea to always bring your device with you to your appointments so that your orthodontist can check its condition.

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