After braces are removed, orthodontists will issue retainers to hold and maintain teeth in their final positions. It is important to wear your retainers to avoid tooth movement.
Retainers are worn inside the mouth and sit against the teeth. If retainers are not cared for and cleaned well, they can harbor bacteria, plaque and create an unpleasant odor. Therefore, it is really important to keep your retainers clean.
- Take your retainers out when you eat.
- Brush with a toothbrush without toothpaste and rinse under cold water at least once a day. Retainers are generally made out of plastic or acrylic. Hot water may distort the shape of retainers.
- For a further clean, you can soak retainers with a Steradent tablet and water mixture once to twice a week. Alternatively, you can mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts cold water and soak for around 30 minutes.
Other things to be mindful of:
- Retainers are removable and they are easy to misplace. They are also costly to replace! Therefore if the retainers are not in your mouth, they need to be kept in a case. Do not wrap them up in a tissue, place them in your pocket, or leave them lying around.
- Keep retainers away from pets as they like to chew them.
- Do not play with retainers, or flip them in and out.
- Always remember to bring your retainers to every appointment.
By Jenifer Wu- Orthodontic Therapist