So you’ve decided to get an orthodontic retainer. Maybe you have had some work done on your pearly whites to keep them clean and straight. That can be the case now, but teeth naturally move as you get older, and without dental intervention, your newly-straight teeth will become crooked again. This is where retainers come in.
Orthodontic retainers ensure that your teeth remain straight and do not shift around as much. If you already own one, you are probably looking for a dental lab for retainers for regular maintenance. There are some things you can do yourself, however.
1. Clean after eating
A retainer is an extension of your teeth, so you have to treat it accordingly. For starters, you need to clean it after every time you eat.
Just lightly brush your retainers with a denture brush and rinse it with lukewarm water. For a deeper clean, use Q-tips to get the debris out and rinse the retainers in lukewarm water with some mild dish soap.
Do not use toothpaste as it can damage the retainers and cause permanent damage.
2. Keep it in your mouth
Always follow your dentist’s instructions. If they say to wear it all times, then keep the retainers in your mouth. Only take it out when you need to clean it. The proper use of retainers ensures that your dental work will not go to waste. And you cannot break or lose retainers if you are wearing it.
3. Keep it away from heat
Retainers are often made of plastic, which means it will warp or melt when exposed to heat. For starters, only store it in a cool place. Placing it in a hot car or by a window exposes it to sunlight, which might cause permanent damage.
Also, take your retainers out if you are eating or drinking something hot. Do not use boiling water to clean retainers.
4. Always bring the case with you
If the retainers are not in your mouth, then it should be in its case. You are more likely to lose your retainers if you do not bring the case with you. Some people cover their retainers in napkins and end up throwing them out with the rest of the trash. Place it in the case every time you brush your teeth or consume something hot.
5. Brush your teeth after eating
I already mentioned that you should clean your retainers after eating, but you should also brush your teeth before putting them on. Wearing retainers without cleaning your teeth just means your retainers are going to get dirty again.
6. Replace regularly
Orthodontic retainers are not meant to last forever. If you have noticed wear and tear or if the fit has changed, then it is probably time to replace your retainers. Ask your dentist for a replacement, and they will take care of it.
If dental braces are not an option for you, then retainers are the next best thing. They keep your teeth from shifting and ensure that they look great through the years. These pointers will help you take better care of your retainers.