Every person who has used braces to straighten out their teeth, have at some point in time used orthodontic retainers. These are the removable braces and can go on to harbor the most harmful of bacteria if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.
The research that was conducted at UCL Eastman Dental Institute found that about 67% of people with retainers on harbored a harmful yeast called Candida which can go on to cause fungal infections. Almost 50% of them had Staphylococcus bacteria which is resistant to quite strong methicillin.
These two microbes do not cause much harm to people who are strong and healthy, however those with an immune system that is weak can fall prey to it. Further study that was conducted showed that these harmful bacteria could survive on the biofilms and live together forming a layer of slime. Also, they are extremely resistant to antimicrobial medications and treatment.
These findings have been published in the online March 14 in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology. They go on to recommend that newer and more improved cleaning products need to be used for orthodontic retainers. The first thing is to go ahead and be extremely stringent with the hygiene. They must wash their hands before and after handling retainers. Also, they must brush their teeth diligently and use a mouthwash to help keep the retainers clean.
There is also the threat of hospital acquired infections and the other harmful bacteria that remain in the mouth hidden beneath retainers and can cause immense harm.