A retainer is an orthodontic appliance (usually removable) that is worn after your orthodontist removes your braces. When braces are removed, teeth have a tendency to want to return back to their original positions. Retainers prevents this from happening.
Your orthodontist will decide how often you should wear your retainers.
When your braces come off, it is very tempting not to wear your retainers. To keep your teeth from shifting and avoiding having to wear braces again, it is crucial to wear your retainers asoften as yours orthodontist tells you.
How to take care of my retainers?
When you brush your teeth, brush your retainers also. You can use toothpaste, rinse with cool water and put them back in your mouth. Using denture cleanser to soak retainers is all right.
Don’t flip your retainers with your tongue. It can be very tempting (specially with a new retainer), but this habit usually ends up breaking or warping the retainer.
Don’t use bleach to clean your retainer, don’t place them in the dishwasher or washing machine and don’t leave them in the car under the Florida sun.
Never wrap your retainer in napkin, paper towel or tissue because they will more than likely get thrown away.
Don’t ever put your retainers in your pockets or loose in your purse. They are sure to get broken. If the retainers are not in your mouth, they should be in the retainer case.
Last but not least, don’t leave your retainers sitting around. Children are curious about them and pets love to eat them up.
Wearing and taking care of your retainers doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember, it’s not forever and if you don’t listen to your orthodontist, your teeth could shift back into their old positions.