The braces are finally coming off, but your orthodontist wants you to wear a retainer. Do not get down in the dumps, you are closer to securing that beautiful smile and healthy teeth. In order to help your teeth maintain their new, corrected position. These orthodontic appliances help keep the teeth straight once the . The retainer gives the bones of your lower and upper jaw, and gums, time to adapt to the new, firm positioning of the teeth.
Tips to Help you Take Excellent Care of your Retainers
Taking care of your retainers is essential to keeping your teeth aligned, and your smile bright. An orthodontist will determine if you should wear the retainer for a long period of time, or strictly at night time. Regardless of how long you must wear the retainer, it is extremely important to take great care of the appliance. When you follow our instructions, in conjunction with these tips, you help reduce the risk of undoing the progress that your Invisalign aligners have made.
Cleaning your Retainers
You will need to make sure that you take good care of your retainer, which includes cleaning it. The buildup of plaque could have a negative impact on the way that your retainer fits. Failing to clean the retainer could also cause a bad odor. To properly clean your orthodontic work, you will need to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. It is best to purchase an extra toothbrush for this specific job, even if you use a soft toothbrush on a regular basis. The soft bristles help prevent scratches to your retainer, in addition to other types of damage.
After you have gently brushed your retainer, you will need to rinse it off. It is okay to use toothpaste to clean your retainer; however, you should only use toothpaste that is labeled “gentle.” Using harsh toothpaste causes serious damage to the retainer. If you are unsure of what type of toothpaste to use, be sure to look at for those types that are free of sodium and other strong cleaning agents; also look for toothpaste’s that are made for people who are prone to canker sores.
Cleansing your retainer does not stop with brushing; you will need to place the appliance in denture cleanser, or a cleanser that is specifically made for cleaning retainers. To prevent the wires on your braces from being cracked, becoming loose, or damaged, you should never place your retainer in:
• The washing machine
• The dishwasher
• Direct sunlight
• Boiling water
We can suggest the best cleansers for your retainer to help you properly clean and care for these appliances during your orthodontic treatment period.
Keeping the Retainers Safe
Part of taking care of your retainer includes keeping it safe. You should never leave your retainer sitting out around the home. If a child spots the retainer, they could become curious and do some serious damage to the appliance. Pets, especially dogs, love to chew on retainers, which is why you should always keep them in a safe place in the home when you are not wearing them.
Flipping a new retainer can be very tempting, but you should refrain from doing so. It is not only a bad habit to flip your retainer with your tongue, but this habit will cause you to break the retainer.
Placing your retainers in a purse or your pocket is never a good idea. Doing this could cause them to become broken. You should also avoid wrapping your retainer in a tissue, napkin, or paper towel. Even the most responsible adults and children have been known to forget that the retainer is there, and it ends up being thrown out with the garbage.
The safest place for your retainer is your mouth, but in instances where you decide to take it out, be sure to put it in a place where it will not get lost or damaged, such as a case. When you think of retainer cases, you may think of boring. However, retainer cases are not all dull; there are some cute cases to choose from. This is something that teenagers and younger children will love. The cases may be stylish, but they are durable, this protects the appliances when they are not being worn.
Be sure to keep your retainer away from direct heat at all times. Do not keep the retainer near a stove, window, inside of a car, or any other place with warm temperatures. A retainer is to be kept at room temperature. If the retainer gets too hot, it will melt.
Foods to Avoid
When wearing a retainer, the foods that you eat could cause the appliance to break or become loose. Here are some of the foods that you should not eat, in order to avoid complicating the orthodontic treatment.
• Food that is tough to bite (such as apples)
• Ice and gum
• Foods that are chewy in nature (such as popcorn or nuts)
• Non plucked or soft Corn (avoid corn that is directly on the cob)
Caring for Retainers is a Necessity
Replacing and repairing retainers is costly, so make sure that you take great care of these orthodontic appliances. Explain to your children the importance of keeping their retainers safe at all times. In addition to being expensive, failing to properly care for retainers could cause the orthodontic treatment period to be longer.
It is not impossible to take care of your retainers, but doing so will require more responsibility. Therefore, if your child has a retainer, remind her that this orthodontic treatment is to help improve her smile and the appearance of her teeth. Explain to your child that this treatment is not forever, and if she listens to us, we can help prevent her teeth from shifting back into their old position.
Contact Dr. Gluck Today!
Contact us today and find out just what Dr. Gluck can do for your family. We will help you choose the best orthodontic treatment, and help correct those misaligned teeth. We understand all of the advances in dental technology, helping you choose from the best orthodontic treatments that are available. Call us today to schedule an appointment, and soon that dream smile could become your reality!
2002 Richard Jones Road
Suite A-200 Nashville
Phone: 615 269 5903
How to Take Care of Your Retainers
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.