Should You Buy a Sonic Cleaner to Clean Your Teen's Retainer?
Posted on 6/20/2016 by Office - Boone DMD
Your teen has finally gotten his braces off, and now he needs to wear a retainer. If he is like most teenagers, you've probably found that retainer in some pretty strange and disgusting places - the kitchen table, the back of the toilet, or at the bottom of his gym bag.
While it is his responsibility to keep it clean, you may be considering the purchase of a sonic cleaner to help him out, but do these devices really do any good?
About Sonic Cleaners
Just like the teeth, your teen's retainer can accumulate plaque and food debris, so they need to be cleaned regularly. For this reason, some people invest in sonic cleaners for assistance, but studies are varied about just how effective these methods really are.
This could possibly due to the fact that these cleaners aren't really ultrasonic - they vibrate at about 5800 waves per second, but to be ultrasonic and to provide those cleaning effects, they should actually need to vibrate at 20,000 cycles per second or greater.
It is also important to consider what exactly is in the biofilm that accumulates on your retainers. This film is quite thick, and while a sonic cleaner might look fancy, it probably can't do much to remove the debris and stains that accumulate in the retainer.
How Your Teen Can Keep His Retainer Clean
If you aren't convinced by the claims and don't want to invest in a sonic cleaner, there are other ways for your teen to keep his retainer clean.
He can simply use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush it out with toothpaste or mouthwash regularly. Even just rinsing it out with water several times per day will go a long way at washing potentially harmful bacteria and acids out of your teen's retainer before they have the chance to do damage to his teeth or his appliance.