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How To Clean and Sterilize Retainers?

Is it essential to clean retainers every day? The answer is yes. Just like you brush your teeth every day, retainers also demand an equal amount of care. Dentists generally recommend wearing retainers after removing the braces. It plays a crucial role in holding the teeth in their right places. 

You see, retainers sit inside the mouth and against the teeth. This position makes them vulnerable to bacteria breeding, tartar, and plaque formations. Wearing dirty retainers can lead to several health issues. Therefore, we have outlined some essential tips to clean your retainers. Keep reading on to know more about it.

When should you Clean your Retainer?

Dental experts recommend that the ideal time to clean the retainers is before going to bed. Overnight soaking will also help in removing the build-up. Moreover, wearing dirty retainer throughout the night can leave harmful deposits on it. Although you should wash your retainer daily, here are some prominent signs that it needs immediate sterilisation. 

  • When you start experiencing bad odour or taste in your mouth
  • When you notice a white or cloudy deposit on the surface of the retainer
  • If you notice that the retainer is about to break or crack
  • When you start developing dental issues like inflamed gums, tooth sensitivity, or cavities
  • When the retainer gives you an uncomfortable fit

How to Clean your Retainers?

Here are a few simple tips for cleaning your retainer. 

  • Brushing – The first method is cleaning the retainer gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ideally, dentists recommend cleaning retainers every time you brush your teeth. You can also take a denture brush to gently scrub away the debris and plaque from the surface of the retainer. Apart from this, you can also use a cotton swab to clean the ridges and grooves.  However, make sure you pick a non-whitening toothpaste for your retainers to prevent damages from bleaching agents. 

  • Dunking in Mouthwash – Once you have gently scrubbed all the deposits, it is time to dunk your retainer in mouthwash. You can do this process on your bathroom counter itself. All you need to do is, take a fluoride-free mouthwash and dip your retainer for 3-4 minutes. Rinse it with clean, cold water to avoid staining. 

  • Anti-Bacterial SprayPeople who are in a public place or do not have enough time to clean their retainers traditionally can go for this method. You can consult an expert dentist at a recognised dental hospital for the best anti-bacterial spray brand for you. It is one of the easiest and quickest ways to clean retainers on the go. 
  • Baking SodaBaking soda has always been a popular go-to hero ingredient for sterilising retainers. It combats stinks, stabilises pH level naturally, removes stains, and helps in rebalancing your oral microbiome. It also plays a crucial role in disinfecting the retainer sans any harsh chemicals. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub it on the retainer with the help of a soft-bristled brush. Wash it off with cold water and your retainer is ready to pop in. 
  • Vinegar – Vinegar is one of the most effective and affordable cleaning agents in the world. It is a common household ingredient that eradicates odour and disinfects surfaces. The best thing is, this ingredient can do wonders in cleaning your retainer as well. Just mix some white vinegar with an equal amount of warm water and leave you retainer in it for 20 minutes. Take a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub off the residue. 

  • Castile Soap – It is also a very useful ingredient to clean and sterilise your retainer. Just mix some castile soap in warm water and soak your retainer in it for 2 minutes. Clean the retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and then soak in distilled water. 

These were some simple tips to clean and sterilise your retainers. Make sure you avoid exposing the retainer to high heat. You should also avoid using chemicals in this process. Moreover, soaking is crucial in every method. So, make sure you never skip it. 

Apart from this, checking the appearance of your retainers from time to time is also essential for your oral health. Last but not least, consult your dentist if you notice any swelling, redness, or pain in your mouth. You might need to replace the retainer. Good luck.


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What is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?

Sometimes, we usually think in general, placing a character like that capable of covering many specialties. It is not that it is a mistake, but a way of labeling the person according to the discipline that develops as a trade.

In the world of medicine, this is more than common because we see in the figure of one the work that many do, even if we know what he specializes in. With dentistry, it happens frequently since we assume that the dentist is in charge of everything related to the mouth.

But that's not entirely true. Today, a series of conditions and injuries are known in which the dentist must specialize. We insist this does not cause you to lose your label, but it does place you in positions that distance you from others that handle another set of knowledge and practices.

Do you know what an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is?

Not everyone in dentistry revolves around the most frequent conditions such as cavities or gingivitis that are usually treated by General Dentists. Some conditions and situations must be attended by Specialist Dentists, for example for orthodontic treatments, conditions of the dental nerves that are attended by Endodontists and a wide range of situations in which the Oral or Maxillofacial Surgeons intervene.

Competencies of these surgeons:

The oral and maxillofacial Oral surgeon has a huge range of medical development when he must do his job. If your work leads you to an intervention, it is worth remembering that these are not like those normally performed in other parts of the body, since some of them, especially the most common ones are outpatient. That is, they do not require hospitalization.

Who can use the name of the Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon?

Being an oral and maxillofacial surgeon means having the official title of specialist issued by the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs.

What does a maxillofacial surgeon do?

The maxillofacial surgeon performs from wisdom tooth extractions or placement of dental implants to cosmetic oncological and reconstructive surgery.

These are several of his specialties:

1. Dental extractions:

The majority of dental extractions are performed by a dental hospital near me or General Dentists, for example, temporary or “milk” teeth and when the affected teeth have the entire crown, which would make the extraction “easier”.

However, when this has been lost, either by caries, by a blow or for any other reason, or when the tooth is trapped, the most convenient thing is that the extraction is performed by a Specialist in Oral or Maxillofacial Surgery.

2. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ):

The articulation of our jaw with the skull is just in front of the ears and can present different problems, ranging from noise, clicking, pain and even dislocations that will affect the bite and general health of people.

An injury caused by a stroke, bruxism or bite problems not treated in time is also part of the diseases that the surgeon should review. If you have difficulty biting or your jaw is locked, you should look for an expert dental surgeon

3. Implants:

Definitive solution after tooth extraction. For aesthetic reasons, this practice is responsible for finalizing the first developed point, in which a worn part is replaced by a new one.

This technique has a recovery time very similar to that of the first point above, which is calculated between seven and ten days.

4. Tumors:

This is a completely extreme situation, but not impossible. The surgeon will be in charge of attacking this evil if it occurs. His work area, for obvious reasons, limits him to working with those that manifest in the mouth or neck.

Beyond the teeth:

One of the greatest benefits of those who specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery is that it covers a larger space than that of other colleagues, whose range of action is in other currents.

For example, it can treat known diseases that have no direct relationship with dentistry, such as cleft lip, for example. It can also intervene if there is a facial reconstruction operation and if someone skilled in salivary glands is needed.

Similarlyyou can also treat the gumsalthough in situations of greater chaosWe have already indicated what is capable of caries and the consequences of periodontitisbut the accumulation of pus in the region can be resolved by draining the most affected place.

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