How to Maintain Your Retainers? 8 Crucial Tips on Caring for Retainers
So, you just finished your orthodontic treatment and are enjoying your newly straightened teeth. Congratulations! But wait, there’s still one important step left: wearing retainers diligently and caring for your retainers. They play a crucial role in maintaining the new-found alignment of your teeth.
Yes! The teeth retainers after braces prevent your teeth from returning to their original positions. But sadly, a common mistake people make is forgetting or neglecting to wear it, which can cause teeth to shift back to their previous untreated state. Don’t let that happen to you!
So, How to maintain your retainers after the orthodontic treatment? Keep reading to find out the answer!
8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Retainers
Like any other dental appliance, retainers require proper care to keep them in good condition and do their job effectively. Here are 8 tips for taking proper care of your retainers:-
- Keep Your Retainers Clean
Cleaning your retainers is one of the most important things you can do to take care of them. Bacteria can quickly build up on your retainers, leading to bad breath and infections. Therefore, cleaning your retainers daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste is essential.
You can also use an effervescent cleaning tablet such as Invisalign cleaning crystals to soak your retainers once a week to keep them clean and fresh.
- Don’t Eat the Food Harmful to Retainers
You must be mindful while eating with retainers, as certain foods can adversely affect them. Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky food items, which can damage or break your retainers. Also, avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks that can lead to plaque build-up and cavities.
So it would be best to say goodbye to popcorn, hard candies, hard nuts, canned juices, and other such foods and drinks for the time being.
- Keep the Retainers Far From Any Heat Source
You must understand how to store retainers! They are made of plastic or acrylic material that can easily warp or melt when exposed to heat. That means you need to keep them away from hot water, direct sunlight, and other heat sources.
So, if you want your retainers in tip-top shape, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to any heat sources.
- Hydrate Your Retainers
Your retainers could become brittle and crack if they dry out. To avoid this, it’s essential to moisturize them by soaking them in water or a retainer solution when you’re not wearing them.
This simple step will prevent your retainers from getting dry and damaged, ensuring they last you a long time. So, make sure to keep your retainers well-hydrated.
- Never Miss a Follow-up Appointment
Once you’re done with your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will set up follow-up appointments to ensure everything is going smoothly and make any necessary tweaks to the retainers on your teeth.
Sticking to these appointments ensures your retainers do their job and your teeth stay in place. So, make sure you keep those appointments and never miss them.
- Replace Retainers as Instructed
One of the most crucial retainer instructions you may receive from your orthodontist is not to wear any damaged or unfit retainers. So, if you notice any cracks, chips, or other signs of damage, get your retainers replaced immediately to avoid any further problems with your teeth.
Also, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your orthodontist if you have any concerns regarding the fitting of your retainers.
- Do as Your Orthodontist Says
Taking care of your retainer is essential to maintain the alignment of your teeth. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on caring for retainers, and you must follow them carefully. By doing so, you can ensure that your retainer works effectively and your teeth stay in place.
So, get those retainers instructions down pat, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you need further clarification.
- Don’t Put on Retainers Before Brushing Your Teeth
By brushing your teeth before putting on retainers, you can prevent any icky food particles or bacteria from getting trapped between your teeth and your retainer. Don’t skip this step, as it keeps your retainers clean and your breath smelling fresh.
Plus, brushing prevents any potential infections. So make sure to brush up before you snap those retainers in place!
In conclusion, caring for your retainers after orthodontic treatment is just as important as taking care of your teeth during the treatment. By following these 8 tips on how to maintain retainers, you can ensure your retainers work effectively, and your teeth stay in place for a long time to come. So relax and enjoy your beautiful new smile!
Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League-trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile makes a person look great and feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about orthodontics, the importance of correctly aligned teeth, and good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.