When you realize your orthodontic treatment plan is nearing its end, it is an exciting time! After all the effort put in by both you and the orthodontist to get your smile in tip-top shape, it is great to see the results! But even though you are in the home stretch, there is one final step to make sure those pearly whites stay straight and in line with the others. Over time, teeth naturally shift and move slightly, but we don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. This is where the retainer comes into play! As with all types of dental care, there are specific ways to take care of it to ensure the best results.
- Clean Often
Think of your retainer as your own teeth. Scrub it every day after wearing it with your toothbrush and water. Avoid toothpaste as it is a bit harsh and could scratch the retainer.
- Keep it Cool
Your retainer has to fit correctly in order to work If you leave it in a hot care or other hot areas, it may warp and even melt in some cases. High heat will ruin the retainer and you will have to get a replacement.
- Soak It
There are a few different types of cleaners that are used to clean retainers. They come in tablet form, and their main function is to thoroughly clean the retainer within ten minutes of soaking.
- Use Caution
When putting on your retainer, make sure that it is in the proper location. There shouldn’t be any visible spaces between your teeth and the retainer.
- Don’t Play
It is tempting to flip your retainer out with your tongue, or moving it when you feel anxious or bored. It’s kind of like tapping a pen, and you will surely try it once or twice when you find yourself feeling this way. But don’t do it! This can damage the retainer.
- Remove Carefully
Don’t pull it off with force one side at a time. This can make the retainer snap, and in turn, will make it useless. To remove the retainer, simply loosen it in several different places and ease it off gently.
- Brush those Teeth
Before putting the retainer on, be sure to brush your teeth. If you don’t, the retainer will become dirty quickly, and it also isn’t good for your teeth.
- Replace it.
Retainers will wear out over time, even with the best of care. If you feel that it isn’t fitting right anymore, or it looks a bit tinted, make a trip to your orthodontist to find out what the best course of action would be.
It may seem a bit daunting to wear a retainer daily, but it really helps when it comes to retaining that perfect smile that you worked so hard for! It is a simple way to make sure that everything stays right where it is supposed to so that once crooked smile will always walk a straight line!