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Caring For Retainers: Helpful Do’s and Dont’s

July 16, 2021

 Caring for Retainers 

Retainers are an extremely important part of orthodontic care. Failure to properly use a retainer can result in teeth shifting back to their original positions. This can be especially heartbreaking after all of the hard work put in wearing braces. To ensure this doesn’t happen, retainers should be worn nightly following braces or Invisalign treatment.

 It is essential to keep your retainer in optimal condition so that you may benefit from its regular use. Caring for retainers is surprisingly easy. Following is a list of retainer care do’s and don’ts that will help you maintain your beautiful new smile.

DO’S: What to do when Caring for Retainers

retainers need to be taken care of

1.Store your retainer in a container with adequate ventilation.

 This will help to ensure that you do not experience any mold or bacteria growth. No one wants to put a retainer that is infested with contaminants into their mouth.

2. Remove your retainer during meals or when eating or drinking beverages besides water.

 You should never leave your retainer in while you are eating. Food particles become stuck in the crevices of your retainer and promote bacteria growth. The same goes for sugary drinks. It is best to eliminate this issue by removing your retainer when eating or drinking.

3. Brush your retainer daily with toothpaste.

 This is an easy step. It would be best if you brush your retainer every day at the same time you brush your teeth. Once you have given your retainer a good brushing, be sure to rinse it well with fresh, clean water and allow it to dry. Do not put a wet retainer into a case.

4. Store your retainer in its case.

 Your orthodontist should have provided a storage case for your retainer. This container will be the best option for retainer storage. It will have adequate airflow and allows you a place to keep your retainer clean and easily accessible. Place your clean retainer in its case whenever it is not in use. This will also help to ensure that you do not lose your retainer.

5. Remove any buildup you notice from your retainer.

 If you notice any buildup on your retainer, it is best to give it a good brushing. First, remove as much buildup as you can with the brush, then you can soak your retainer in a water solution and a cleaning tab made especially for retainers. This solution will remove and kill bacteria as well as prevent permanent discoloration.

DON’TS: What NOT to do when Caring for Retainers

caring for retainers1. Never leave your retainer lying around in the open.

 This is asking for trouble. Retainers not appropriately stored in their cases are susceptible to bacterial contamination. Also, they can be easily lost when just left lying around. Shifting of teeth can occur quickly, so you do not want to lose your retainer.

2. Do not soak your retainer in a denture solution.

 Denture solution can cause the material your retainer is made from to break down. Break down of the retainer material can cause it to fit your mouth improperly. Therefore, you should never soak your retainer in solutions formulated for dentures.

3. Do not soak your retainer in mouthwash.

 While this may seem like a great way to kill bacteria on your retainer, you could run into the same issues as using a denture solution. Only soak your retainer is a solution that is specifically formulated to clean retainers.

4. Never wrap your retainer in a napkin when you are not using it.

 A retainer wrapped in a napkin can easily be mistaken for trash. The last thing you want is for your retainer to be mistakenly thrown away. This is also not the cleanest way to store your retainer. Always store your retainer is its case. This is the safest and cleanest option.

5. Do not put your retainer in boiling or hot water.

 Exposing your retainer to hot water can cause the retainer to warp or become misshapen. This will adversely affect the fit of your retainer and decrease its effectiveness. Only use a cleaner specially formulated for retainers to soak them in. Optimal fit is paramount for your retainer to do its job of keeping your smile perfect.

When to Call Your Orthodontist

 Keeping your retainer in its optimal condition will help you to maintain your beautiful new smile. However, if you notice that your retainer is not fitting correctly, you should immediately give your orthodontist’s office. They will want to ensure that your retainer fits correctly to ensure your orthodontic treatment’s continued success. Also, if you notice any discolorations on your retainer, it is best to give your orthodontist a call. They will advise you on whether or not this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Orthodontic Arts, your number one Orthodontist in OKC. Our Certified Orthodontist provides the latest and greatest Orthodontic practices to our clients in the OKC and Midtown area. Orthodontic Arts is the best place for child and teen orthodontics as well as adult orthodontics. Be sure to ask about Invisalign and invisible braces! Contact us today at (405) 604-3745 or request an appointment.