How to Take Care of Retainers for Teeth

How to Take Care of Retainers for Teeth
Posted on 11/30/2021

Congratulations! You finally finished wearing braces! However, treatment is still not done. To make sure that your teeth remain straight for a lifetime, you must wear a retainer. Retainers are little devices that hold your teeth in their new positions while bone tissue stabilizes. At Huls Orthodontics, we provide retainers to patients after they have completed their main orthodontic treatment. If you’re about to receive your first pair of retainers, here’s what you need to know about taking care of them, and why they’re important to wear.

Retainer Care

During “active” orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist uses braces or aligners to control teeth movement, putting them into their proper placement. Teeth can move because the bone continually breaks down and rebuilds. Forces are constantly at work in the mouth while your teeth move when biting, chewing, swallowing, or speaking. To counteract these forces, a retainer is used to keep them in place. While nothing can prevent your teeth from moving 100% of the time, retainers are the best tool to minimize movement.

In order to keep your retainer working correctly, it is important to keep them in shape so they can last a long time. Here’s how to take care of your retainers:

Keep Your Retainer Clean:

Your orthodontist will give you proper instructions on how to clean your retainers. This can include brushing with toothpaste with warm water. You can also use a dental appliance cleanser to remove plaque. If you have permanent retainers, they can be cleaned by brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Interproximal brushes may also be helpful.

When Removing:

  • Always remember to put your removable retainers in a case when not in use.
  • Avoid putting your retainer directly into your pocket or bag, as this could damage the retainer (which means having to replace your retainer at an extra cost).
  • Avoid putting your retainer in a napkin. It can be easily thrown out accidentally.
  • Keep your retainer out of reach from pets and infants.
  • Keep your retainer out of hot environments- your retainer can become deformed if left under the hot sun, near a stove, or in the car.

Be Cautious of Food & Liquids:

When retainers are in your mouth, avoid drinking colored liquids (except water). Liquids with color (coffee, tea, red wine, soda, etc.) can stain the teeth and retainer. Any foods or drinks with sugar and/or acids, such as acidic fruits or candy, can cause tooth decay. If you do happen to eat or drink anything with sugar, make sure to take your retainer out and cleanse your mouth before putting it back in.

Contact Huls Orthodontics Today!

If you’re interested in getting orthodontic treatment, contact Huls Orthodontics today! We offer comprehensive, customizable services that can treat your specific problems. Dr. Mark B. Huls and staff also provide services to those of all ages. If you would like to get started, reach out to our Champaign or Monticello, IL offices. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you have. Schedule an appointment today! We can’t wait to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful-looking smile.