Retainer Care 101

4 Tips For Retainer Maintenance

retainerYou finally did it. After all the waiting, avoiding foods, adjustments, etc. — you’re teeth are finally free of braces or aligners. Since you’ve invested a great deal of time into perfecting your smile with braces or Invisalign® at ARCH Orthodontics, doesn’t it make sense to take the very best care of your newly perfected smile?

This is why it’s so important to continue to wear your retainer. As the name suggests, retainers are really good at retaining the new position of your straightened teeth — the direct result of all your hard work and sacrifice. Without the help of your retainer, teeth tend to shift out of alignment. Wearing your retainer will ensure your smile stays straight. With proper care, your retainers can last for years.

Here are 4 retainer maintenance tips to set you straight.

1) Wear As Directed

Some patients are asked to wear their retainers all the time, while others wear them for a few hours during the day or overnight. Always be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. We’re not trying to torture you or make you uncomfortable, there are usually some pretty good reasons why we give you specific instructions. Any questions? Just ask!

2) A Storage Story

Napkins and tissues are the kiss of death for retainers, as they usually end up in the bottom of the trash bin. If it’s not on your face, keep your retainer in its case.

3) Cleanliness is Awesomeness

You brush your teeth every day, so don’t forget to add some retainer maintenance to your daily routine. If you clean it every day or every other day, your retainer will be free of bacteria-causing buildup. Use a toothbrush and some toothpaste, or even a tiny amount of mouthwash or soap. Rinse well and be retainer ready!

4) Checkup Anyone?

We love seeing our patients and their smiles…after all we worked together for so long to make them so perfect. Don’t forget to schedule and maintain your regular retainer checks so we can make sure it’s working properly or make adjustments. If your device isn’t properly aligned, too tight, coming loose, or even broken, it could be working against your smile. Come and see us! We might even say you don’t need your retainer anymore.