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5 Tips for Caring for Your Retainer

August 22, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — canfieldbraces @ 8:15 pm

Smiling woman holding clear retainerWhether you chose metal braces or clear aligners to fix your bite and alignment, nothing is more exciting than the end of your treatment. However, once your braces come off, your orthodontic journey isn’t over just yet. You’ll need a retainer to ensure your investment lasts. It’s the final step in your treatment plan, so it’s important for your retainer to last. Here is how to safeguard your new smile and ensure you get the most from your retainer.

Importance of Wearing Your Retainers

A retainer is necessary after braces to prevent your teeth from moving back into their previous positions. It keeps your teeth in place while your tissues and bone heal around their new positions. 

Initially, your orthodontist may advise you to wear it at all times. Eventually, you’ll only need it at night and less often as more time passes.

Caring for Retainers

Your retainer can serve you for many months or years by following a few tips:

1. Don’t Wear Your Retainer When Eating

Retainers are made of durable materials, but they aren’t indestructible. It’s best to remove your retainer before eating and store it in a safe place. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth before putting it back into your mouth.

2. Keep Your Retainer Clean

Food debris and plaque can accumulate on your retainer, which can lead to unpleasant odors and damage the appliance over time. It can also increase your risk of gum disease and cavities if you aren’t careful. 

Clean your retainer at least once a day to remove bacteria and plaque. Don’t use any harsh chemicals or abrasive products. A soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild dishwashing liquid or hand soap are all you need to keep your retainer clean. You can also purchase OTC cleaning products made for retainers.

3. Store Your Retainer in a Safe Place

Placing your retainer on a surface can expose it to bacteria. You also run the risk of misplacing it. Keep it in its storage case whenever you’re not wearing it. Always allow your retainer to air dry before putting it in its case. Don’t forget to clean your storage container regularly. 

4. Remove Your Retainer When Brushing

Brushing while wearing your retainer will leave areas of your teeth unclean. It can also damage your retainer over time. Always take your retainer out of your mouth before brushing and flossing.

5. Maintain Your Appointments

You still need to visit your orthodontist regularly to monitor your teeth. They may need to make adjustments to provide the best results.

You don’t have to worry about a retainer drawing unwanted attention to your teeth. There are many discreet solutions. Your orthodontist will help you choose the right retainer for your needs.

About Dr. Marissa Mikolich

Dr. Mikolich earned her dental degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and continued her education in orthodontics and oral biology. She is passionate about creating healthy, confident smiles. Request an appointment through her website or call (330) 538-8476.

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