When you first get your retainer it can be easy to forget it or neglect it. Once you get used to having one, it can become second nature to regularly care for it. Your retainer is an important way to maintain the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. We’ve assembled a list of five tips to help you get well-versed in caring for your retainer.
1. Keep It In, Unless…
Your retainer should be worn for the entire day. Without it, your orthodontic treatment results will suffer. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. Do take out your retainer while you eat, clean it, during sports, and as directed by your dentist and our doctor. Otherwise, wear it regularly. You are also less likely to lose it the more that you wear it.
2. Use Your Case
Your retainer will come with a case to store it in. When it’s out of your mouth, use the case. We’ve heard many horror stories of patients putting their retainer in a napkin while they eat, only to throw it away by mistake. We’ve seen parents digging through the trash for their child’s retainer. A replacement retainer can be costly, so treat yours with care.
3. Clean it Regularly
Your retainer needs to be kept clean. Like your teeth, plaque and bacteria can build up on it, which can be harmful to your teeth. We recommend cleaning your retainer every time you brush. Rinse your retainer with water, then use toothpaste and your toothbrush to give a gentle scrubbing. Rinse it off one final time before putting it back in your mouth.
4. Be Careful With Sports
Contact sports pose a risk of damaging your retainer. Even non-contact sports may cause you to experience some degree of facial trauma. While playing sports, your retainer should be removed and placed in its protective case. Ask about a custom
mouthguard to protect your teeth during these activities.
While receiving orthodontic treatment, we will schedule a series of appointments with you to measure your progress.These visits are important for ensuring your results are maintained. They allow our team to make sure your retainer continues to fit properly, as well.
It may take some time to become comfortable with caring for your retainer. Follow our guide to stay on track. Keeping your retainer clean is just as important as keeping your teeth clean. Don’t forget to remove your retainer while eating, and always use the case to store it when it is not in your mouth. For more tips on care of your retainer or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.