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THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING RETAINERS, ALIGNERS AND MOUTH GUARDS AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE

Brushing your teeth regularly will help keep them healthy and clean. However, it is just as important to clean your retainer, aligner or mouth guard daily too or there could be more than just your appliance in your mouth every day.

WHAT ARE GERMS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Germs such as bacteria are invisible to the human eye but live everywhere including inside your mouth and on your skin. Your mouth naturally contains hundreds of different types of bacteria, and more. However, if too many germs build-up they can cause problems including cavities, and bleeding gums.

WHY BACTERIA LOVE RETAINERS, ALIGNERS AND MOUTH GUARDS?

The normal balance of oral flora in our mouths changes when we wear a removable dental appliance. If you do not clean your retainer, aligner or mouth guard daily it is the perfect place for plaque bacteria to multiply and grow. Wearing a dental appliance can lead to increasing the risk of plaque bacteria. If you do not clean your retainer, aligner or mouth guard properly it can cause plaque bacteria to grow. In fact, a study showed that more than 50% of retainers, aligners and mouth guards are often covered in some sort of oral bacteria.

CAN BACTERIA IMPACT MY ORAL HEALTH?

If plaque bacteria are not regularly removed and cleaned from your teeth and removable dental appliance, they can impact your oral health, leading to problems like bad breath or other oral care issues.

In a 2011 study from The Society for Applied Microbiology found that up to two thirds of retainers and retainer-wearer mouths contain Candida species, a type of yeast. Candida species is found naturally in the mouth and our saliva usually keeps levels under control. However, if you do not clean your retainer, aligner or mouth guard daily the balance of Candida species levels in your mouth may increase leading to an infection known as oral thrush. The same study also found about half of retainers contained Staphylococcus – a type of bacteria which can cause dental infections.

If you have a healthy immune system, both Candida and Staphylococcus are present and rarely cause problems. If your immune system is compromised, you'll need to be very diligent and care for your appliance and mouth routinely.

CAN BACTERIA IMPACT MY SOCIAL LIFE?

Your removable dental appliance collects plaque, and tartar from your mouth while you wear it. Without daily cleaning, you may get a build-up of odor-causing bacteria and put your teeth at risk for decay or gum problems. Poor appliance hygiene can lead to problems such as bad breath, stains and plaque accumulation. Over time, your retainer, aligner or mouth guard may even start to smell or taste funny if you do not clean it often enough. A regular daily retainer, aligner or mouth guard cleaning routine will help to avoid this.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO KEEP BACTERIA AT BAY?

Just like brushing your teeth, it’s important to get into a habit of regularly cleaning your retainer, aligner or mouth guard every day.3 You should also remember to always wash your hands before and after handling your retainer or mouth guard to avoid spreading any type of bacteria.

Alongside gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using a regimen that includes solution like Polident Pro Guard & Retainer can help build-up of odor-causing bacteria help keep your removable dental appliance clean.* These dissolvable tablets are designed with Crystal Clear technology to help remove tough stains. Plus, they are also proven to kill 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria.

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR RETAINER, ALIGNER OR MOUTH GUARD BACTERIA-FREE

  1. Drop one Polident ProGuard & Retainer Cleanser tablet into enough warm (not hot) water to cover your oral appliance.
  2. Soak for 3-5 minutes. For best results, gently brush your oral appliance with cleanser solution using a soft brush. Discard remaining solution immediately after use.
  3. Rinse appliance thoroughly with running water.