Your retainer is a vital part of your orthodontic journey, which means taking care of it is crucial to your success, either during or after treatment. Having the responsibility of braces, you’ve learned a thing or two about proper oral hygiene and about keeping your braces safe, and retainers are just another step on your path to ensuring your teeth stay beautiful for the rest of your life. Making a couple of slight adjustments to your routine and being aware of your retainer can make a difference. Here are our tips on how to keep retainers safe.
Why Retainers Are Important
Custom-made just for you, no two retainers are alike. A retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment, especially after your braces have come off, which means taking care of it should be a priority.
It’s also imperative to wear your retainer for the recommended time each day and to adhere to your orthodontist’s instructions when it comes to everyday wear. Failure to wear your retainer can result in your teeth shifting back to where they once started. No matter how long you’ve had your braces off, your teeth can still shift, making retainers a critical part of your treatment plan. In adopting some best practices, you’ll be sure to keep your retainer safe.
Find a Designated Place
Your orthodontist will give you a container in which to house your retainer, so when you’re not wearing it, it will stay safe. It’s important to carry this container with you and put your retainer in it when not in use to avoid misplacing it or throwing it away. Getting a new retainer can be costly and take time to replace.
Be sure to keep your retainer in its designated place, especially while eating, so when it comes time to place it back into your mouth, you won’t have to worry about where it is. Avoid wrapping your retainer in a napkin or setting it on a lunch tray, as this makes it easy for your retainer to get thrown away with the trash.
Keep It Clean
Your retainer needs to be cleaned regularly as well. Think about the proper oral hygiene habits that you developed when you had braces. Now apply those habits to your retainers and you’ll be all set! Be sure to clean your retainer regularly to avoid bacteria from building up on it. It’s best to adopt the following habits for maximum success:
- Avoid brushing it harshly
- Keep it moist
- Soak it in Efferdent once per week
Make cleaning your retainer a part of your routine and you won’t forget to do it each day. It’s also a good idea to clean your retainer after meals. Even though you generally won’t eat with your retainer in, food particles stuck in your teeth can find their way onto your retainer. That’s why cleaning your retainer and brushing your teeth are recommended after each meal.
The Fate of Your Teeth
The fate of your teeth and whether or not they maintain their proper positions in your mouth is up to you. Your retainer plays a crucial role in maintaining a perfect smile, so be sure to take care of it appropriately to ensure it continues to do its job for years to come.
At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re excited to get started on your orthodontic treatment plan! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get in touch today.