Cleaning retainers when you're sick

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Featheryy1221
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am

Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#1 Post by Featheryy1221 »

Soo I went to the doctors yesterday and found out I have strep throat. I'm currently wearing my retainers 24/7 (except when eating) since I just got my braces off. I was told by my doctor to toss any toothbrushes I'm using after 24 hours.

That made me wonder though, do I have to clean my retainer differently? Currently I've been told to use a very soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste and its worked fine. However, do you think that is that enough to kill the strep germs?
Image

Estimated treatment time: 18 months. (6 months- expander, 1 year- braces)
Bonded Rapid Palatal Expander: 10/1/13 - 3/31/14
Upper and Lower Metal Braces: 4/22/14 - 7/14/15
Total treatment time: 21 months

ItsFreyja
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#2 Post by ItsFreyja »

Aww, feel better soon!

I would think a thorough brushing of your retainers should suffice to remove any germ-laden matter, but if you want to be super conservative, you could buy disinfecting denture/retainer tablets, or you could go old-school and soak for a few minutes in a 1:20 bleach-water solution.

bbsadmin
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Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#3 Post by bbsadmin »

Do not put bleach on your retainers!

Instead you should use a retainer cleaner that kills bacteria. That would include Retainer Brite, SonicBrite, DentaSoak, or OAP Cleaner. In a pinch, denture tablets would work, too. If I were you, I would clean the retainers twice a day in a germ-killing solution. Brushing, alone, will not kill the strep bacteria!

You need to be really careful or you will re-infect yourself. Throw away your toothbrush. Once you are almost done with your antibiotics, get a new toothbrush and a new tube of toothpaste. Use paper cups for a while until you are strep-free. Do not share utensils or food with anyone. Wash your water bottle and anything else you use regularly with hot soapy water. Be very careful with anything that comes in contact with your mouth and make sure it is clean.

I dealt with a recurring strep infection for 3 months a bunch of years ago -- I and my kids kept getting sick. Turns out one of my kids was a "carrier." We all needed to take antibiotics at the same time to get better. It was a mess. So I learned how to be really careful about that sort of stuff.
I'm the owner/admin of this site. Had ceramic uppers, metal lowers ~3 years in my early 40's. Now in Hawley retainers at night!

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#4 Post by metalliKa »

bbsadmin has some really good recommendations. Anything made to disinfect dentures, you can use on retainers. Or if you have money you don't mind spending, your dentist office may be able to sterilize it for you. Make sure you take your full course of anti-biotics though.

Hope you feel better soon!
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
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Featheryy1221
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#5 Post by Featheryy1221 »

Thank you all so much for responding and for your advice. :)

I actually think I may have been misdiagnosed as I have been on antibiotics for 48 hours and they haven't done anything at all. Plus I have some of the symptoms of a viral case of tonsillitis than a bacterial case of strep (huge white patches on my tonsils, coughing, runny nose, etc). My strep test had come back negative, but they wanted to have me on antibiotics just in case.

Regardless, I will still take extra care in cleaning my retainers so I don't infect myself again. I figured they probably needed to be cleaned more effectively so I'm glad you guys could confirm that.
Image

Estimated treatment time: 18 months. (6 months- expander, 1 year- braces)
Bonded Rapid Palatal Expander: 10/1/13 - 3/31/14
Upper and Lower Metal Braces: 4/22/14 - 7/14/15
Total treatment time: 21 months

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djspeece
Posts: 1939
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:36 am
Location: North Canton, Ohio USA

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#6 Post by djspeece »

bbsadmin wrote:Do not put bleach on your retainers!

Instead you should use a retainer cleaner that kills bacteria. That would include Retainer Brite, SonicBrite, DentaSoak, or OAP Cleaner. In a pinch, denture tablets would work, too. If I were you, I would clean the retainers twice a day in a germ-killing solution. Brushing, alone, will not kill the strep bacteria!

You need to be really careful or you will re-infect yourself. Throw away your toothbrush. Once you are almost done with your antibiotics, get a new toothbrush and a new tube of toothpaste. Use paper cups for a while until you are strep-free. Do not share utensils or food with anyone. Wash your water bottle and anything else you use regularly with hot soapy water. Be very careful with anything that comes in contact with your mouth and make sure it is clean.

I dealt with a recurring strep infection for 3 months a bunch of years ago -- I and my kids kept getting sick. Turns out one of my kids was a "carrier." We all needed to take antibiotics at the same time to get better. It was a mess. So I learned how to be really careful about that sort of stuff.
This!
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

ItsFreyja
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#7 Post by ItsFreyja »

Guess I'm the only bleach fan around here... :( I've seen orthodontists' websites that recommend using it (e.g., http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/the ... -retainers and http://www.doctoralbright.com/retainers.html). I guess when I get my retainers I'll have to ask my ortho what he recommends.

Feel better Featheryy1221!

Featheryy1221
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#8 Post by Featheryy1221 »

Thanks for the well wishes! :)

I'm feeling a little better today. I went out tonight and bought some retainer soaking stuff. I followed all the directions. Hopefully that'll keep the germs away!

Plus it'll be nice to use the extra packets when I want a really good clean. :)
Image

Estimated treatment time: 18 months. (6 months- expander, 1 year- braces)
Bonded Rapid Palatal Expander: 10/1/13 - 3/31/14
Upper and Lower Metal Braces: 4/22/14 - 7/14/15
Total treatment time: 21 months

Featheryy1221
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#9 Post by Featheryy1221 »

Sorry to bring up this topic again, but I'm stuck as to whether or not I need to buy a different retainer cleaner product.

I was diagionised with a positive strep test on September 1st, after four days of the same antibiotics I had in July, they weren't working at all so I got a new prescription I had to take for 10 days. Which worked

5 days after taking antibiotics, my throat began to feel sore again and I started seeing white patches again. I went in yesterday and even though my test was negative, they gave me an antibiotic and a steroid.

Now I'm wondering if maybe the cleaner for the retainers isn't strong enough. I wash my hands well, I use hand santizer at work (because customers can be gross sometimes and sneeze/cough on you while handing you their money). I disinfected everywhere and threw out my used toothbrushes after 24 hours.

I'm really over this as its been three times in less than 3 months.

Right now I'm using fresh guard cleaner. Should I try a denture cleaner instead? I'd get retainer brite online but by the time it gets to my house, it'll be past the 24 hours of antibiotics. I wish they'd sell retainer brite in stores. :/

What should I do? Is my current cleaner enough?
Image

Estimated treatment time: 18 months. (6 months- expander, 1 year- braces)
Bonded Rapid Palatal Expander: 10/1/13 - 3/31/14
Upper and Lower Metal Braces: 4/22/14 - 7/14/15
Total treatment time: 21 months

bbsadmin
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:03 pm
Location: Northern California
Contact:

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#10 Post by bbsadmin »

Your current cleaner should be doing the job properly, as long as you follow the instructions. I would advise you to stop wearing your retainer until your infection is cleared up, just in case. A few days without it shouldn't do much harm.

The re-infection may not be coming from your retainer. Think of everything you put into (or onto) your mouth, including water bottles. Everything needs to be disinfected. Go overboard and disinfect door handles, telephones, kitchen handles, your car -- anything that might have the bacteria that your hands come into contact with on a regular basis. Lysol or Clorox wipes are good for this.

About 12 years ago, my kids and I kept getting sick over and over again with strep. Turns out, my youngest was a "carrier" and kept infecting me. None of us got over it until ALL of us were treated with anitbiotics at the same time. Is anyone else in your house sick? Do you come in close contact (sharing utensils, water bottles, or kissing) anyone else? If your strep won't go away, the other people you come into close contact with should also be tested.
I'm the owner/admin of this site. Had ceramic uppers, metal lowers ~3 years in my early 40's. Now in Hawley retainers at night!

Featheryy1221
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am

Re: Cleaning retainers when you're sick

#11 Post by Featheryy1221 »

Okay good to know it should be working properly. I'm following all the directions on the package. :)

I wish I could go without the retainers, but if I even more than 12 hours without them, certain teeth shift (the joys of my ortho not waiting long enough for things to settle a bit more before he took them off).

I'll have to figure it all out. I'm not sure if perhaps my boyfriends a strep carrier (I started dating him 10 days before my first strep incident). He hasn't gotten sick at all. My family hasn't gotten sick. Which is odd because my mom has a really weakened immune system with the medications she has to take. My dad had his tonsils out, so he's good.

I also work at a grocery store as a cashier so I come in contact with sick people a lot. On sunday one of my co-workers said she had white spots on her throat (she gets strep every spring and fall), so it's possible she gave it back to me.

I guess it's back to the drawing board then to figure this out. Lol.

Thank you so much for your help. I'm at least glad my cleaner should take care of the germs.
Image

Estimated treatment time: 18 months. (6 months- expander, 1 year- braces)
Bonded Rapid Palatal Expander: 10/1/13 - 3/31/14
Upper and Lower Metal Braces: 4/22/14 - 7/14/15
Total treatment time: 21 months

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