The importance of wearing your retainer after your braces come off is often underestimated. It is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don’t plan to keep them straightened after treatment? We at Foley Wilde Orthodontics have put together a list of instructions to properly care for your retainer to ensure that your teeth stay in alignment for the long-term.
- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
- When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to your retainer faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your orthodontic appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care, they will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.