A retainer is an important part of maintaining your perfect smile after braces, but they are a huge responsibility. If you have a removable retainer, chances are you have misplaced it or broken it or forget to wear it. We are here with some tips that will help you take better care of your retainers and ultimately, take better care of your smile.
Photo by Jonathan Palmer
If you are wearing a removable retainer full-time, you should be taking it out when you eat, brush your teeth, and floss. This makes it very easy for you to misplace or lose your retainer at or at school. We have all had a friend that has wrapped their retainer in a napkin or tissue while they eat lunch, and then accidently throw it away when they discard their lunch tray. A great way to keep track of your retainer is to always keep it in one of 3 places: your hand, your case or your mouth. Keep the case in your purse or in your pocket until you are finished eating or brushing your teeth and ready to use it again. Never put it on your meal table or tray. Losing your retainer is not only a headache, especially if your teeth shift before replacement, but it can also be expensive.
Another way to take care of your retainer is to make sure that you are cleaning it often. When you remove your retainer from your mouth, use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean any debris and plaque from your retainer. Never put a dirty retainer in boiling water to clean—it will deform it. Cleaning thoroughly with denture cleaner and then using alcohol will take care of germs.
The most important rule of wearing a retainer is to wear it as Dr. Perelmuter & Goldberg and our staff have prescribed! We usually recommend night time wear after the first 6 months and then, to wear them every night as long as you want to keep your smile. Failing to wear it the recommended amount of time can result in needing orthodontic for a second time. Who wants that? The best ways to remember to wear your retainer is to keep it with your tooth brush and put it in at night right after brushing and, as a safeguard, put a daily reminder on your smart phone.
If you have any questions about retainer care, call one of our staff members at Perelmuter & Goldberg Orthodontics. Remember: if you want to keep wearing your smile, wear your retainers!