Important Retainer Instructions

for Optimum Results

If you recently had braces removed, following your orthodontist’s retainer instructions is crucial for optimum results. Retainers help to keep your teeth in place after they have been moved into their new positions. 

Here are some essential things you should know about taking care of your retainers:

Wear Your Retainers Consistently

Your orthodontist will advise you on how often and for how long you should wear your retainers. You must follow these instructions carefully to maintain the straightness of your teeth. If you fail to wear your retainers as directed, your teeth may shift back to their original positions, causing all your hard work with braces to be undone.

Clean Your Retainers Regularly

Retainers can easily accumulate bacteria and plaque, just like your natural teeth. Clean them regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You can also soak your retainers in denture cleaner or a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar for about 15 minutes to eliminate any stubborn build-up. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth.

Avoid Heat

Retainers are made of plastic and can easily warp or bend if exposed to heat. This can affect the fit of your retainers and potentially cause discomfort. Avoid leaving them in hot environments like a car dashboard or near a heater.

Store Your Retainers Properly

When you're not wearing your retainers, it's important to store them properly in their case. This will protect them from damage and keep them clean. Always place your retainers in their case when you take them out of your mouth instead of leaving them on a countertop or in a napkin.

Don't Eat With It

Eating with your retainers in may be tempting, especially if you're used to eating with braces. However, this can cause damage to the retainers and affect their fit. Make sure to take out your retainers before each meal and store them safely in their case.

Be Careful When Handling

Retainers are delicate and should be handled with care. If you drop or handle them roughly, they may break or become misshapen. This can affect their effectiveness and may require costly repairs or replacements.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning your retainers, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach or alcohol-based solutions. These can damage the plastic and affect the fit of your retainers. Stick to non-abrasive toothpaste or denture cleaners approved by your orthodontist.

Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly

Even after you have completed your treatment and wear your retainers, it's important to continue visiting your orthodontist for regular check-ups. They can ensure your retainers fit properly and make any necessary adjustments.

Call Your Orthodontist if You Have Any Concerns

If you experience any discomfort or notice your retainers are not fitting properly, don't hesitate to contact your orthodontist. They can provide guidance and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the best results for your treatment.

Different Types of Retainers

Removable Hawley Wire Retainers

These are made from metal wires and sturdy acrylic, designed to keep your teeth in place. The wire goes across the front of your teeth while the acrylic is molded to fit perfectly inside your mouth.

Removable Clear Plastic Retainers

Also known as Essix retainers, these are clear and look similar to Invisalign aligners. They are less noticeable than Hawley retainers and cover all the teeth.

Bonded Permanent Retainers

These are glued or bonded to the back of your teeth. Permanent retainers can't be lost, and they continuously maintain the position of your teeth.

Vacuum Form Retainers

These are similar to clear plastic retainers but involve a vacuum-forming process to create a snug fit around each tooth.

Let Washington Orthodontics Take Care of Your Orthodontic Issues

At Washington Orthodontics, we are committed to helping you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. Our team of experienced orthodontists will provide you with the necessary guidance and care throughout your treatment process. We offer a range of orthodontic treatments, including braces and retainers, to help you achieve a straight and confident smile.

Call us now!