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It’s International Retainer Day! Caring for Your Retainer after Metal Braces

If you have metal braces or any kind of dental braces, and you are having them removed, you will need to wear a retainer. Retainers work by keeping your teeth from shifting back over time. Furthermore, a retainer will ensure that your metal braces have done their job in straightening your teeth. Actually, retention is for life.

Here are some tips on caring for your retainer and guaranteeing your teeth stay straight and healthy.

Why Do I Need to Wear a Retainer?

After removing your metal braces, your teeth are no longer in a rigid environment. As a result, your teeth can shift and move out of place over time. After treatment, your orthodontist will provide you with a retainer to prevent this from happening.

There are three main types of retainers:

  • Hawley retainers: A removable retainer made using an acrylic mold of your teeth.
  • Clear retainers: A removable, transparent retainer that fits over your teeth.
  • Fixed retainers: A permanently bonded retainer adhered to the back of your teeth.

The retainer you receive will depend on your needs and your orthodontist’s recommendation.

Wearing Your Retainer

After removing your metal braces, you will need to wear your retainer daily. This process will be a bit of an adjustment, as you will need to get used to sleeping with a retainer.

As you sleep, your retainer will help keep your teeth in place, so they don’t shift. Therefore, wearing your retainer at night is crucial to maintaining the results of your metal braces.

During the day, you won’t have a retainer in, and can eat, drink, and floss as usual. Just be sure to remove your retainer at night before doing these activities.

With fixed retainers, you don’t have to worry about removing them before eating or drinking. Just brush and floss as usual!

Cleaning Your Retainer

Your retainer will quickly accumulate bacteria, plaque, and tartar since it spends a lot of time in your mouth. So, just like how you brush your teeth every day, it’s essential to clean your retainer every day.

You can clean your retainer with toothpaste and a toothbrush or by soaking it in denture cleaner. If you don’t have denture cleaner, you can also use mild dish soap or antibacterial soap to clean your retainer. Just be sure to avoid using hot water, as this can warp the shape of the retainer.

It’s also important to clean your retainer case regularly. Bacteria can build up in the case, so empty it out and wash it with soap and water at least once a week.

Make Your Orthodontics Last a Lifetime

With proper care, your retainer will last for many years.

By following these tips on how to care for your retainer, you can ensure that your teeth stay straight. Metal braces can be a big investment. And by taking good care of your retainer, you can guarantee your straight smile lasts a lifetime.

If you’re interested in metal braces or have any questions, schedule a consultation with Dr. Yazji today. We look forward to meeting you!

About the Author Maria Yazji