4 Helpful Retainer Care Tips

Dentist Blog

Getting your braces off can be a major relief, but chances are you will need to wear a retainer for some time afterward. The purpose of the retainer is to ensure that the ligaments that were realigned with the braces have time to settle permanently into their new positions—otherwise they will slowly pull the teeth back out of alignment. The following tips can help you care for and wear your retainer properly.

Tip #1: Keep it Clean

Many people take their retainer out when they eat, although this isn't always necessary. If you leave it in, you will need to rinse it with water after eating. Otherwise, clean it every evening when you brush your teeth. You don't need any special cleaners. Simply brush it with your regular toothpaste and a toothbrush reserved for just this purpose. This will remove any bacteria or plaque that may be on the retainer.

Tip #2: Carry a Case

Keep a retainer case on you at all times when you aren't at home. You can carry it in a backpack, purse, or even a pocket. The point of the case is to protect your retainer from damage should you need to take it out. To avoid forgetting it, especially at a restaurant where you may take it out, get in the habit of putting it back into your back instead of leaving it on the table. It's also a good idea to write your phone number on the case with a permanent marker to increase the odds of being returned if you do forget it somewhere.

Tip #3: Keep it Moist

The plastic used for your retainer can crack if it becomes too dry. This isn't usually a problem if you are only taking it out for a short time to eat. If you don't have to wear your retainer all the time, though, cracking can be a major issue. To avoid this, store it in a glass of water when it isn't being worn. Then, brush it with toothpaste to remove any germs before reinserting it in your mouth.

Tip #4: Avoid Pain

Sometimes a broken wire wire on the retainer can cause pain. Fortunately, the way to handle this is exactly as you would have with your braces; you can use the same dental wax that you probably used for your braces. Simply bend the wire back into place as well as you are able and coat the area with dental wax. Then, contact your orthodontist to schedule a repair. If for any reason the retainer is too painful to leave in, even with wax, call your orthodontist and let them know so they can schedule you for an immediate appointment to adjust the fitting or make the repair.

For more tips on how to take care of your retainer, contact clinics like Orthodontic Associates. 


12 April 2016

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!