Tips for Taking Care of Retainers
If you have an acrylic retainer, you should make sure you are caring for it in the best way possible. It doesn’t matter if you have retainers because you’re doing Invisalign or if you’ve finished treatment and you have your retainer for the long haul, caring for them is important.
How To Clean Your Retainers
Keeping your retainers clean is crucial as you don’t want tartar building up on them. If you’re wearing retainers all day long, you should rinse them out a few times a day with warm water. The best way to clean them is with Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush. This combination will ensure pristine levels of clean for your retainers. You can also brush them with toothpaste or soak them in a cup of water with baking soda. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you do it. You don’t want to be putting a dirty retainer in your mouth all the time.
Never use bleach or an alcohol-based mouthwash to clean your retainers. This can be dangerous to your health to damaging to your retainer. Boiling your retainers will warp the plastic, so that isn’t recommended either.
If you only wear your retainer at night, make sure to store it in a clean, dry place during the day. It should receive sufficient airflow so as to not promote bacterial growth.
How Not To Lose Your Retainers
Retainers aren’t cheap, and losing them can be both costly and inconvenient. To reduce your chances of losing or misplacing your retainer, you should always store it in the case that was given to you by your orthodontist. This will ensure it is being kept in a secure and clean place. Don’t put your retainer on your plate or in a napkin when you’re eating, as this is an easy way for it to accidentally get thrown away. Also, consistently wearing your retainer is a good way to not lose it. If it’s in your mouth, it can’t get lost!
How Not To Have Them Eaten By Your Pets
Dogs can and will chew up your retainer if it’s left lying out. Cats can snatch it up and run off with it, never to be found again. To keep this from happening, store your retainer in its case while not in use. Keeping your retainer and the case in a place that’s out of reach for pets is a good idea as well. If you leave your retainer out on your bedside table, your dog might not be able to get to it, but that won’t stop the cat! Being aware of where your retainer is and making sure it’s stored in a safe place will prevent your pets from making your retainer their new toy.
The Importance of Wearing Your Retainers
Wearing your retainer is crucial to the health and movement of your teeth. If you’re doing Invisalign, wearing your aligners at least 22 hours a day is necessary for your teeth to shift to their new positions. If you’ve finished with Invisalign or braces and now have a clear retainer to keep your teeth in their position, you should wear it for roughly 12 hours a day for the first few months after getting it. This will help the roots of your teeth set and will ensure there is no shifting in your newly acquired perfect smile! No matter what stage you’re at, consistently wearing your retainers is crucial to maintaining your teeth alignment.
Retainers aren’t a lot of work, but they do require a bit of care and maintenance. And if they’re cared for properly, they can last for years before needing to be replaced.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.