Finally! Your braces are off, which means your teeth are straight, and you never have to worry about them ever again, right?
Well, not exactly; you still have to wear your retainer. For many who have just had their braces removed or finished their Invisalign plan, wearing a retainer can seem unimportant as their teeth are already straight. However, not wearing a retainer can cause teeth to shift back to how they were.
While sometimes a retainer isn’t worn out of neglect, the most common case is because it is broken and it takes time to replace, not to mention that they can be a bit pricey.
Here’s how to take care of your retainer to ensure it doesn’t break, become too dirty or get misplaced.
Store Your Retainer Properly
First and foremost, it is important to properly store your retainer to ensure it doesn’t get misplaced or exposed to germs. Although the retainer is to be worn for the majority of the day and at night, there are times when taking it out is inevitable, such as when you eat and brush your teeth. However, there are other occasions as well, including playing a sport that requires players to wear a mouthguard, during an important presentation or a job interview.
If a proper plan to store the retainer is not planned out and in place, there is an increased risk of the retainer getting misplaced or exposed to germs, which can cause poor oral hygiene that results in bad breath.
Upon being assigned a retainer to wear, a case for the retainer should have been included. Carrying the case with you at all times is essential and a good thing to begin practicing. Also, try and avoid keeping the retainer case in a pant pocket. Instead, keep it in a place where there is a less likelihood of getting lost, such as a backpack, pocketbook or zipped up pants pocket.
Clean Your Retainer Properly
Arguably even more importantly, it is crucial to keep your retainer clean and germ-free. The best way to achieve this is by, as has been mentioned, keeping the retainer stored correctly in the case when not in use. However, other care techniques need to be implemented, including washing the retainer at least twice a day and continually brushing your teeth.
Most importantly, it is imperative to thoroughly wash the retainer every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep. Preferably, it is much more beneficial to clean the retainer at least three times a day, which means washing it in the middle of the day is in order.
Along with washing the retainer itself several times each day, it is also important to brush your teeth after each meal. The goal and reason behind cleaning the retainer are to keep your mouth clean, so failing to brush your teeth regularly enough makes cleaning the retainer itself less relevant. Be sure to brush your teeth and wash the retainer several times each day, and you should be able to enjoy a clean mouth with perfectly straight teeth.
We are always here to answer questions about your retainer!
Our trained staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have about keeping your retainer in tip-top shape. The team is ready to provide the most information we can to our patients so they can make the best decisions for their teeth and oral health each day. Give us a call, and we will begin guiding you in making great choices for your dental health.
Request an appointment in our Leawood Orthodontist office here: https://drlaurasortho.com.
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