After months of orthodontic treatment, picture this, your braces have finally been removed, revealing a dazzling, perfectly aligned smile. However, the journey does not end there. Your orthodontist hands you a new device to wear, a dental retainer.
While Greenwich retainers may not be as well-known as braces, they play a crucial role in maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment. These small, often clear plastic devices are custom-made to fit your teeth. You should wear them for a specific amount each day to help keep your teeth in their newly aligned positions. Here are five tips that can help keep your retainers clean and functioning longer.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing your teeth, are important for keeping your retainers clean and hygienic. When you brush and floss, you remove any food particles and bacteria that may be present in your mouth. Doing so can help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth and retainers. Practicing good oral hygiene habits helps ensure your retainers stay clean and bacteria-free.
Clean Your Retainers Daily
Cleaning your retainers is important to keep them clean and hygienic. Soaking your retainers in a solution of warm water and a non-alcoholic, non-abrasive cleanser can help remove any buildup on the retainers. Also, gently scrub away any remaining debris with a soft-bristled toothbrush when cleaning them.
Rinse your retainers thoroughly with water before using them again to avoid ingesting any leftover cleanser residue. Additionally, use a cleanser specifically designed for dental retainers, as some cleansers or solutions may be too harsh and can damage the retainers.
Avoid Exposing Your Retainers to Heat
Heat can cause your dental retainers to warp, lose their shape, or become misaligned, affecting their effectiveness in maintaining the alignment of your teeth. To avoid this, keeping your retainers away from heat sources, including hot water, direct sunlight, and other heat sources, is important.
When you are not wearing your retainers, store them in their case in a cool, dry place, away from any heat sources. Doing this will help protect them from any potential damage and keep them in good condition for longer.
Bring Your Retainers to Your Dental Appointments
It is important to bring your retainers to your dental appointments so that your dentist can check them for any signs of wear or damage and to make any necessary adjustments. During your regular dental checkups, your dentist will examine your teeth and retainers to ensure they are still fitting properly and maintaining the alignment of your teeth.
If there are any issues or concerns with your retainers, your dentist can advise you on how to care for them properly or may recommend getting them adjusted or replaced. By bringing your retainers to your dental appointments, you can help ensure they function effectively and last as long as possible.
Avoid Using Mouthwash or Toothpaste on Your Retainers
Toothpaste and mouthwash contain abrasive ingredients that can scratch and damage the surface of dental retainers, leading to the buildup of bacteria and other debris. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid using toothpaste or mouthwash to clean your retainers.
Instead, use a non-alcoholic, non-abrasive cleanser that is specifically designed for use on retainers. These cleansers are formulated to gently and effectively remove buildup and bacteria from your retainers without causing any damage. These cleaners are found at most drugstores or online, typically in tablets or solutions.
Dental retainers ensure that the hard work put into orthodontic treatment is not wasted. While they may seem minor inconvenience at first, dental retainers are a crucial part of the orthodontic process, and their benefits far outweigh any temporary discomfort.
However, they often require frequent maintenance and care to help you achieve your dream smile. So, whether you are just beginning your orthodontic journey or have recently completed it, remember to follow the above steps to keep your retainers clean and hygienic. Also, remember to wear them as instructed by your orthodontist and enjoy the lasting benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.