If you have a retainer, it is extremely important to take great care of it, and we recommend doing so by following these easy steps:
• Clean your retainer regularly: Each time your retainer is in your mouth, it is vulnerable to the bacteria and plaque that destroy your teeth, which is why it is important to clean your retainer regularly. You can clean your appliance by soaking it in denture cleaner or non-alcoholic mouth rinse at least once a week.
• Keep your appliance in a safe place: Because your retainer is removable, it could be easily misplaced. Please keep it in a safe, secure, and memorable place, like your bathroom drawer or backpack, so you don’t lose it. Also, please keep it out of your pocket or off your lunch tray. If you put your retainer in these two places, it is often broken or lost.
• Protect your retainer: Keep your retainer out of hot or dry environments. If you have it in a hot place, like in a dishwasher, washing machine, or direct sunlight, the appliance can warp and melt. If you have it in a dry place, the retainer can crack and break. To keep the appliance in great condition, place the retainer in water, mouthwash, or denture cleaner often.
• Carefully place and remove your appliance: When you take your retainer out of your mouth or put it back in, please do so in a gentle and accurate way. Many people have the habit of flipping the retainer with their tongue, which is an easy way to break and ruin the appliance. Also, when removing the retainer from your mouth, please be careful to not bend or break the wires.
• Don’t wrap your retainer in tissue: When you remove your retainer to eat or brush your teeth, do not place the appliance on a tissue or napkin. If you do, the fibers of the material will stick to the appliance and it will be extremely difficult to clean. Also, if your retainer is wrapped in your napkin, it is easy to accidentally throw it away.
If you would like more tips about how to properly care and clean your retainer, please feel free to call our office and talk to your orthodontist. We look forward to helping you take great care of your orthodontic appliance!