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I have to admit that I am probably not cleaning my retainers as well as I should.  A bit of guilt here.  So they have some plaque build-up.  I have an appointment will my ortho next week, so I’ll get the scoop.

In the meantime, this is what I do:

  • Try to rinse them each time I take them out.  Sometimes not possible if I’m not near a restroom when I take them out (to eat).
  • Clean the bottom wire retainer by brushing with my toothbrush and toothpaste, at least once a day.
  • Clean the top clear retainer by lightly brushing with my toothbrush–no toothpaste–, or using soap and my fingers, at least once a day.
  • Every 2-3 weeks, soak the retainers for 30 minutes with a Retainer Brite tablet that I got from my ortho office.  This seems to work, but hasn’t taken all the deposits off.
  • I’m considering getting a sonic cleaner, but not sure yet if it’s worth it.

The places that are hardest to clean are the nooks and crannies at the very bottom of the clear retainer.  My brush can’t reach; I’ve tried squeezing in a cotton swab, but that doesn’t quite do it either.


Even though I’ve decided to put teeth whitening on hold, this doesn’t mean I’m not interested in it.

Heard a short piece on NPR this morning on this comparison between whitening techniques.  I guess the big difference between the in-office light-activated and the gels that you get from the dentist or pharmacy is a matter of price and time.

Read/listen to the piece here: A Simple Formula for Whitening Your Teeth.

I tried the Crest Whitestrips a second, on the top teeth, about 2 weeks ago.  That time I got the same pings as the first time (read the first time report), but didn’t feel the strong tightness in shoulders/neck or nausea of the first time.

However, since then I have been sick with a tenacious cold.  So even though the cold is most likely unrelated to the Whitestrips, I have a bad feeling about them.

I stay as healthy as possible by maximizing the health-promoting things I put in my body–organic food, mostly veggies–and minimizing the not good things.  And with my dental care, I’ve been as non/low-toxic as possible.  Unfortunately, these Whitestrips deviate from that.  They don’t feel compatible with my commitment to sustainable health.

So I’m shelving the Whitestrips.  Vanity loses at this point.