Written on April 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
There’s nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous smile. So to get mine to that level, I endured dozens of whitening treatments, floss nightly and had braces—not once, but twice! (You can read more about that here) Kind of crazy, I know, but since I went through all of that, I know how important it is to properly maintain my teeth with good brushing habits, even more flossing and most importantly—wearing my retainers (possibly the least sexiest thing on the planet, I know). But after my second round of braces, I swore to myself I would never let my teeth shift again, so I wear them every night like a good patient. Because of this, my orthodontist (shout out to Dr. Schulhof!) discovered I was grinding my teeth like a maniac at night. I actually ground holes in my retainers! (Maybe from all the stress of trying to have perfect teeth? Who knows?) So now I wear an additional grind guard as well. I basically look like a football player before bed and I have no idea why my boyfriend still thinks I’m cute. But I digress—the whole point of this is to say that I realized how insanely hard it is to clean a dental device. Each morning, I’d pop my retainers and guard out, and if you know anything about morning breath, then you can imagine what they smell like. I asked my orthodontist how to clean them and he suggested brushing with my toothbrush like you do your teeth. That seemed annoying so I suggested soaking them in mouthwash, but he informed me that doing so would actually dye my retainers, which are clear, so that was out of the question. So I diligently brushed my retainers each morning after my own teeth, but it takes up a lot of extra time. So, based on what you now know about my weird obsession with teeth, I’m sure you can imagine how ecstatic I was when Fresh Guard by Efferdent ($6, drugstores) came across my desk. Like, I was literally squealing. It’s like the Efferdent you always knew of for dentures but made specifically for dental devices like Invisalign, grind guards, retainers or even mouth guards for sports. They come in small Crystal-Light-like packets. You just fill a glass with warm water, pour in the packet and let them sit for five minutes. It contains a special formula that prevents the buildup of icky mouth film, reduces yellowing, helps remove stains and kills 99.9 percent of odor-causing bacteria—aka, my dream come true. As they soak, I brush my teeth, wash my face, put in my contacts and they’re clean! The water goes from blue and bubbly to clear so you know it’s time to take them out. Plus they’re also available in a wipe form, which is super-convenient for traveling or after meals when you’re on the go. I stash these in my purse and suitcase. And the wipes leave behind a fresh mint flavor so, to sum it up—this is one “find” that has put one big smile on my face!