You probably think that you can start flashing that newfound smile of yours after your orthodontic treatment right? Unfortunately, you need to complete a final step to ensure that your teeth stay as straight as possible after your orthodontic treatment and this is best done by wearing retainers. You can make sure that your retainer lasts longer with proper retainer care. The better you treat your retainer, the better it will be maintained and give you a straight and healthy smile for life.
Here are 4 Tips for Proper Retainer Care
- Clean Your Retainers Regularly
- Soak Your Retainer
- Replace Your Retainer Whenever Necessary
- Be Careful When Putting It On
Treat your retainer like an extension of your own teeth. After each wearing session, make sure to clean your retainer properly with your toothbrush and water. Don’t brush your retainer with toothpaste as it will scratch it, making it harder to keep clean.
Soak your retainer to make it as clean as possible. You can soak it in a product called Retainer Brite which comes in tablet form, or you can create your own cleaning solution by mixing 1 part sodium hypochlorite bleach with 10 parts. Let your retainer soak for 5-10 minutes and it will come out squeaky clean.
Even good quality retainers tend to wear out from time to time. If you feel that your retainer is getting worn out or does not fit as well as it used to then you should replace your retainer to ensure that your teeth maintain their intended positions.
Make sure that your retainer is on all the way when you wear it and that there are no spaces between your teeth and your retainer. Don’t flip your retainer with your tongue when you remove it and don’t pull it out forcefully on one side as this may break it. Make sure that you loosen your retainer in several places before removing it and easing it off. Always store your retainer in its case when it’s not in use.
4 Things to Avoid for Proper Retainer Care
- Harsh Chemicals
- Avoid Heat
- Keep out of Your Dogs Reach
- Take Your Retainers Out When Eating and Brushing
Toothpaste and water are enough to clean your retainer You can add mild vinegar, denture tablets or baking soda into the water. Avoid adding alcohol-based mouthwash or bleach as they can damage both your mouth and your plastic retainer. Don’t boil your retainer as this can melt the plastic and wrap the metal of your retainer.
Your retainer can only do the job for which it was designed if it fits properly. We can give you the perfect retainer for your mouth but you have to ensure that it stays that way to get the best results. Don’t leave your retainer in hot places as this may cause it to melt, warp or lose shape. Don’t put your retainer in any hot water either as the intense heat damage it.
I understand that dogs are family members but they usually tend to enjoy chewing up your retainers. Make sure that you keep your retainer out of your dog’s reach.
Don’t wrap your retainers in napkins during your meals as a waiter may accidentally throw your retainer away by mistaking it for a used napkin. Keep your retainer in its case to avoid this.
Remove your retainer before meals so that food doesn’t get trapped and lead to a build-up of plaque. Carry your retainer case at all times and always store your retainer in it.
The importance of retainers after braces cannot be emphasized enough as retainers are designed to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions and should be worn till your gums and jawbone have become accustomed to the new alignment of your teeth. Don’t skip the final step of straightening your teeth after finishing your orthodontic treatment.
If you have any further doubts about caring for your retainers then call our professionals at Thurman Orthodontics today!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.