Important Tips for Taking Care of Your Retainer

Posted on 01/20/2017 by Dr. Lovrovich
A retainer inside of a plastic case.

Has your dentist recommended that you wear a retainer now that your braces have been removed? If so, complying with his instructions and wearing your retainer can prevent a relapse and the movement of your teeth back into their original positions.

Your retainer is extremely important for the health of your smile, so it is crucial that you take the time and necessary steps to care for it properly.

Clean Your Retainer Properly – and Regularly

Your retainer is exposed to plaque and bacteria, so when you fail to clean it out regularly, it can harbor germs. This can cause it to smell bad and may result in decay and other problems with your teeth. At the very minimum, you’ll need to rinse your retainer out after every meal, but it is better to clean them with a soft brush. You might also want to invest in a cleanser or alcohol-free mouthwash in order to kill the bacteria.

Never Wrap it In a Napkin

Some people make the mistake of taking their retainer out during lunch and wrapping it in a napkin to hide it from view. This is problematic in a couple of big ways, the first being that you will be more likely to forget about it and throw it away. Also, the fibers on paper products can easily stick to your appliance, making it hard to clean.

Protect it from Dryness and Heat

Heat and dryness are issues when trying to keep your retainer safe. You should never place your retainer in the dishwasher, hot water, or direct sunlight, as it can warp easily. Allowing it to dry out can also cause the plastic portions to crack, so you should soak it in water when you aren’t wearing it.

Do you have other questions about how to care for your retainer? Contact our office today.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

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