After wearing braces or clear aligners, you might think a retainer wouldn’t need much upkeep. Your teeth are straight now, and you only need to wear this new orthodontic device for a few hours each day. How could you mess that up?
Well, retainers need proper care to keep teeth healthy and straight. To ensure your own do the job right, try following these four tips.
Clean & Store It Regularly
In many ways, cleaning your retainer is like cleaning your actual teeth. After all, the former can breed bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Such risk increases if you don’t take your retainer out before meals, as it will trap food and plaque.
To properly clean your retainer, scrub it with a toothbrush and water after each use. By doing so, you prevent tartar buildup on its surface. Avoid brushing it with toothpaste to prevent possible scratches that make cleaning difficult. If necessary, you could try soaking it in retainer cleaner for 5-10 minutes.
Remember to keep your carrying case with you to store your retainer during meals. As tempting as it may be, don’t wrap it in a napkin or tissue since someone might throw it in the trash.
Keep It in a Safe, Secure Location
You wouldn’t want to lose your retainer, so store it in your bag or carrying case when you aren’t using it. This will help you remember its location and keep it away from grabby dogs or children.
Furthermore, avoid leaving your retainer in a hot environment. It will melt or warp otherwise, which will ruin its ability to fit and work properly. Never put it in boiling water either —rather than cleaning your retainer, the heat will ruin it.
Brush Your Teeth Before & After Wearing It
Before reinserting your retainer, brush your teeth. If you don’t, the device will get dirty much faster and potentially harm your teeth.
Make sure never to brush your teeth while wearing a retainer. You’ll miss large areas of your mouth, and the toothbrush may accidentally displace the appliance. Instead, only brush and floss after removing it and clean the retainer separately.
Replace It When Necessary
Even a well-made retainer will wear out over time. If you find your pair is deteriorating or ill-fitting, contact your dentist. You should replace it when necessary to maintain your smile.
As you can see, retainers need upkeep like any other orthodontic device. So, keep that straightened smile just as it is by practicing the above tips!
About the Practice
Turning Leaf Dental is based in Boston, MA, located mere blocks from the Boston Public Library. They offer a boutique experience where highly trained professionals get to know patients and provide personal treatment. Using advanced technology like intraoral cameras and digital impression systems, their office plans out procedures with outstanding results, including orthodontics. To learn more information or to book an appointment, they can be reached at their website or by phone at (617)-536-5182.