Done with Braces? Care for Your Retainer by Following These Steps

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If you’re graduating from braces to the use of a retainer, we are happy to help you properly care for your retainer with these guidelines:

Clean your retainer: It is very important to clean your retainer at least once a week because the plaque and bacteria in your mouth will transport to your retainer and make it smell. As you clean the appliance, soak it in denture cleaner or non-alcoholic mouthwash. Please do so with warm (not hot), clean, and plain water.

Keep your appliance safe: Many people misplace their retainer because it is small and removable. When you take the appliance out of your mouth, make sure to put it in a safe, secure, and memorable place, like your bathroom drawer, backpack, or purse. We do not recommend putting the retainer in your pocket or on your lunch tray. If you do, it will likely get thrown away or it will break.

Protect your retainer: Please keep your retainer out of hot and dry environments. If it’s in a hot environment, like in a dishwasher or washing machine, it will warp and melt. If it’s in a dry environment, like your bathroom counter or out in the sun, it will crack and break. To keep your retainer from doing these things, put it into water, denture cleaner, or mouthwash often.

Removing and placing your appliance: When you remove and insert your retainer, please do so in a proper and accurate way. Many people tend to flip the retainer with their tongue, which is an easy way to break your appliance. Also, as you remove and place the retainer, please do your best to keep from bending and breaking the wires.

Knowing where to put your retainer: As you remove your retainer, do not place it or wrap it in tissues or napkins. If you do, the fibers on the material will stick to the appliance, which will make cleaning extremely difficult. Also, it is easy to accidentally throw your retainer away if it is covered in napkins.

For more information about properly caring for and cleaning your retainer, call our office today and talk to our orthodontic team. We look forward to talking with you!