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Tips On How To Care For Your Dental Appliance

Wearing a removable dental appliance encourages food and plaque accumulation around your natural teeth and reduces the cleansing effect of saliva in your mouth. This puts your teeth at risk, tooth decay or tooth loss can occur. Knowing how to care for your new aligner, retainer, nightguard, denture is important starting from the first day of your dental appliance journey. Caring for your appliance is easy. Be sure to clean your removable dental appliance daily to keep your smile healthy and fresh.  

Follow the tips below to care for your aligner, retainer, nightguard, mouthguard, denture, or partial denture. 

dentures soaking in a cleaning solution after being brushed

Tip 1.
Soak your appliance in cleansing solution for at least 15 minutes, starting from the 1st day you receive it. This ensures your dental appliance remains in excellent condition and prevents bacteria from settling.

toothbrushes and retainer

Tip 2.
Have a designated dental appliance brush for your device and brush it daily before and after inserting it into cleansing solution. Avoid using your regular toothbrush to brush your dental appliance as it can damage the surface and cause cross contamination. Most regular toothbrushes have strong bristles that can scratch the surface of dental appliances making them appear opaque and less vibrant in color. Moreover, the scratches become perfect areas for bacteria to settle. 

toothpaste crossed out

Tip 3.
Brush your dental appliance with water only prior to inserting in cleansing solution. Do not use regular toothpaste to brush your appliance, as its abrasive properties can scratch the surface and attract plaque bacteria which can lead to tooth decay, bad breath, and at times to more serious dental issues. Regular toothpaste is designed to clean and polish our natural teeth. Dental appliances are constructed of different material than our natural teeth, therefore, using regular toothpaste to brush your appliance can damage your appliance causing bacteria to harbor in the damaged areas.   

Tip 4.
Rinse appliance with lukewarm water after removing or inserting it back into mouth. Avoid rinsing or soaking in extreme hot water, as it may cause the appliance to warp and even break. If wearing a thermoplastic denture or partial denture leave your appliance soaking in water or cleansing solution when not using it. Learn more about soaking times based on your type of removable dental appliance here.

dog helping out with washing dishes

Tip 5.
Never clean your appliance in the dishwasher and keep away from children and pets.

woman removing retainer

Tip 6.
Always use two hands to remove dental appliance from your mouth. This protects your natural teeth from loosening and your dental appliance from breaking. 

dental retainer and case

Tip 7.
Keep your dental case clean.  

Tip 8.
Avoid using household cleaners as they can damage your dental appliance. Beware when using home remedies such as baking soda or vinegar. Baking soda can be too abrasive for your appliance and vinegar can cause unpleasant taste and smell.  

Tip 9.
Avoid adjusting your dental appliance at home. If your appliance becomes ill-fitting or you are having difficulties taking it in and out of your mouth, reach out to your dentist. Some adjustments may be needed.

dentist helping patient install their new dentures

Tip 10.
Follow your regular dental check-ups and avoid skipping your dental cleaning appointments. Regular dental check-ups are necessary to check your oral health changes and the condition of your appliance.  

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