Now that you’ve worked hard to achieve that perfect smile with the help of braces, it’s important to keep your teeth straight by using your retainer. Each custom-made retainer keeps teeth from shifting after your braces are taken off. It’s extremely important for patients to regularly clean and take care of their retainers, so they continue to do their job of preserving that beautiful smile!
Let’s look at some of the best ways to take care of your retainers, and some things you should avoid.
- Clean Your Retainer on a Daily Basis
Food particles, bacteria, germs and plaque can easily form on your retainer if they are not properly cleaned. This can cause cavities and mouth odor. Clean your retainer once a day with a toothbrush by gently scrubbing the surface with toothpaste or a special cleanser recommended by Dr. Gorantla. When not being worn, retainers should be soaked in mouthwash or a denture-cleaning agent. Ask your orthodontist for cleaning tips that are appropriate for your specific type of retainer.
- Don’t Damage Your Retainer
To keep plastic from warping or melting, keep retainers out of direct sunlight, the dishwasher, and washing machine. It’s also important to keep your retainer moist so it doesn’t get too dry and crack. Also don’t bite the wires or flip your retainer around with your tongue.
- Keep Your Retainer in a Safe Place
Don’t lose your retainer! When it’s not in your mouth, keep your retainer in a soaking solution and/or its case. It’s easy to forget a retainer in your pants pocket, or a lunch tray where it can be mistakenly thrown away. Don’t wrap your retainer in a tissue or napkin, as the particles can stick to its surface.
- Wear Your Retainer
Follow the instructions of Dr. Gorantla so your retainer does the job it’s supposed to! Always wear your retainer unless you’re eating or brushing your teeth. During the first few weeks, retainers can make talking difficult and cause your mouth to produce more saliva than usual. However, this soon passes and your retainer becomes a natural part of life while taking care of your new smile!