Can Retainers Cause Cavities

Retainers are a must-have dental appliance that keeps teeth in place after you have finished wearing braces. Usually, you wear them overnight, but some people wear them during the day, too, or even have bonded ones.

A common query is,” Can retainers cause cavities?” The answer is no. If you take good care of your retainers, they won’t cause cavities. But, just like your regular teeth, if you don’t keep your retainers clean, they can trap enamel-damaging bacteria.

Request An Appointment

    How Are Cavities Formed?

    When you chew on foods, especially carbohydrates, the saliva in your mouth becomes acidic to help digest that food. Your mouth, in this acidic state, turns carbs into sugars. This sugar contains harmful bacteria that drill holes in your enamel to find an access point.

    These tiny holes are called cavities. If not detected early, they keep eating away at your tooth until it becomes merely a hollow shell to be covered with a crown for protection.

    Risk Factors of Developing Cavities with Dirty Retainers

    Retainers in no way inherently maximize your chances of developing cavities. However, watch out for the following risk factors if you neglect their proper cleaning:

    • Trapped Bacteria: If you don’t clean your retainers properly, they can trap bacteria around your teeth. Since retainers cover each tooth completely, bacteria can stick around for a long.
    • Fungal Buildup: Retainers with wires might not gather as much bacteria, but the part on your mouth’s roof can trigger fungal issues like thrush if it’s not cleaned well.
    • Hard-to-Clean Areas: Permanent retainers can make it tricky to clean some spots in your mouth. This can make tartar and bacteria pile up in places that are tough to reach.

    Questions About Can Retainers Cause Cavities ?

    How Do I Prevent Cavities Formation Due to Wearing Retainers?

    Regular dental hygiene maintenance is a must. But you must make extra effort and learn techniques to improve your dental hygiene game. As you now have a dental device on your teeth. You can try taking the following measures:

    • Brushing: Brush your retainers regularly with denture cleaner or toothpaste that’s safe for dentures. This gets rid of bacteria and keeps them smelling fresh.
    • Soak Your Retainers: For a good clean, you might want to soak your retainers in denture cleaner. But don’t use hot water or boil them, because that could bend the plastic.
    • Maintain Strict Oral Hygiene: Remember to brush and floss your teeth daily. Before you put your retainers in, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with mouthwash to keep everything clean.
    • Don’t Miss Dental Appointments: See your dentist regularly. They can help prevent plaque and tartar from building up on your teeth. If you have a permanent retainer, they will clean the tricky spots and might give you special tools to use at home.
    I've tried other places for straight teeth, but I've never had regrets about switching to here! Wonderful service, nothing but quality and professionalism. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I've never been happier with my smile!

    Ava Autry

    Amazing experience with Dr Ash and her new staff members. Dr Ash is very personable and took the time to answer all our questions. My daughter got her braces removed yesterday and we are super excited to see the results.

    Lavanya Koppaka

    All of the staff at Leander Orthodontics is wonderful! Dr. Ash goes above and beyond for her patients and has even called us at home herself to answer questions about my son's care.

    Joe Lundeen

    Dr. Ash is an awesome person and orthodontist! Her staff and her are ALWAYS so helpful! We've been nothing but enamored with their service from start to finish!

    Amy Lambert

    Final Thoughts

    If you wonder, “Can retainer cause cavities?” fresh retainers from an orthodontic office cannot. However, poor oral hygiene after wearing them can cause cavities and dental troubles.

    You can also seek consultation on retainer care from an expert like Dr. Ash at Leander Orthodontics. Our second-generation orthodontist has several years of experience fixing simple to advanced misalignment cases with braces and clear aligners. Call us at (512) 260-5300 to schedule an appointment.

    Skip to content