Caring for Your Retainer Isn’t as Difficult as You Think
After undergoing orthodontic treatment, the idea of showing off your new, straight smile is exciting! After all, you’ve invested time, money and patience to improve the quality of your smile, so you should be proud of your results. However, to guarantee that these results last for years to come, you’ll need to be fitted for a retainer.
A retainer is used to prevent your teeth from pulling back to their original position after the removal of your braces or Invisalign. Therefore, caring for your retainer is just as crucial to staying on track with your orthodontic treatment.
Proper Wear and Care for your Retainer
After receiving orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist (or general dentist who handled your orthodontic care) will fit you with either a removable or fixed retainer. The type of retainer you are fitted for depends on clinical needs and personal preference.
- A removable retainer is taken out when either eating, brushing or flossing. Your orthodontist or general dentist will advise how long you’ll need to wear your retainer.
- A fixed retainer is a small wire bonded to the back of your teeth (usually the front row of your lower or upper teeth) and cannot be removed without dental assistance.
No matter which kind of retainer you are fitted for, here are some helpful retainer care tips to keep it (and your smile) in mint condition:
Always keep it clean. Dental hygiene doesn’t only apply to your teeth. Disinfecting your retainer is crucial to fighting a build-up bacteria and odor. If your retainer is removable, soak it in a combination of denture cleanser (mouthwash works,too) and warm water to keep it clean.
If you’re wearing a fixed retainer, it may be a challenge to brush and floss. This can cause a buildup of plaque and bacteria, so you’ll need to brush extra thoroughly. While certain specifications may make it difficult to floss while wearing a fixed retainer, there are certain products, such as floss threaders, that can make flossing easier for you.
Avoid exposure to heat. Since a removable retainer is made of plastic, prolonged exposure to heat will cause it to melt or wrap. This means you should avoid leaving it in your car, near any kind of heater or in boiling water.
Use a protective case. It’s normal to forget things from time to time– like how you wrapped your removable retainer in a napkin during dinner or stored it in your pocket or backpack for “safe keeping”. Because it’s possible to forget where you stored your retainer, this may cause you to throw it away or damage it. Beaufils Dental offers a protective case for your removable retainer which will keep it stowed away safely while you eat, brush and floss.
Don’t skip your follow-up visit. Not only do these visits help your dentist check the progress of your orthodontic treatment, but it’s also a chance to check or adjust the fit of your fixed or removable retainer. An ill-fitting retainer can delay the quality of your tooth alignment (and can also feel uncomfortable to wear). Your orthodontist or general dentist may also adjust the length of time you should be wearing your retainer, so these visits are crucial to staying on schedule with your treatment.
Your follow-up visit can also ensure your teeth are staying clean. At Beaufils Dental, our teeth cleaning services can help tackle hard-to-reach areas that occur when wearing a fixed retainer. This eliminates the risk of developing serious dental conditions, such as gingivitis and tooth decay. These consequences can easily be avoided with a simple follow-up visit.
Caring for Your Retainer Means Caring for Your Smile
We understand that committing to wearing and caring for your retainer can feel inconvenient. However, think of your retainer as your ticket to maintaining the healthy smile that you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Beaufils Dental is a go-to team for Cooper City orthodontics, ensuring our patients are treated comfortably throughout the entire orthodontic process.
To learn more about proper retainer care, or if you have any questions/concerns regarding your orthodontic treatment, contact Beaufils Dental today at 954-252-1390 to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation.