If you have made the choice to straighten your smile with braces, you have made an excellent investment in your confidence and oral health. After your braces come off and you have a straight new smile, the final phase of treatment will begin. To ensure your teeth do not move back into their previous positions, you will need a retainer. A retainer is a custom-made device that is worn over the teeth to keep them in their new position. As a provider for orthodontics in Newark, OH, we offer retainers to protect your new smile. While you wear your retainer, you will need to care for it properly.
How Do I Care for My Retainer?
Caring for your retainer is fairly simple. The key to ensuring the longevity of your retainer involves keeping it moist. If your retainer dries out, tarter and biofilm will begin to accumulate on the retainer. As a result, if your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be stored in a container of distilled water. While your retainer is soaking, you can add some baking soda or castile soap to help combat odors that may develop. Castile soap will clean your retainer without using harsh chemicals.
Just as your teeth and gums need cleaned, so does your retainer. You need to brush your retainer every day to prevent tarter buildup. While many tend to believe that brushing your retainer will cause scratches, this is not true. You can safely brush your retainer using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
With the right home care, you will protect the longevity of the retainer. In addition to your home care, your retainer will need a “checkup” with your orthodontist. If your retainer has a buildup of tarter or has not been properly disinfected, your orthodontist has special tools to resolve these problems. In addition to providing braces in Newark, OH, we also offer the aftercare you need, including the maintenance and repair of retainers.
How Do I Protect My Retainer from Damage?
Although retainers are durable, there are several factors that can damage your retainer. You should never expose your retainer to excessive heat, such as by placing it in the dishwasher, leaving it in a hot car or boiling water. In addition, there are retainer cleansers and tablets that claim to aid the maintenance of retainers. However, you should avoid using them as they contain persulfate. The FDA issued a warning about these cleaning solutions as they can cause allergic reactions.
You should also avoid using mouthwash while wearing your retainer. Mouthwash contains alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, which will not only dry out your mouth, but your retainer as well. When your retainer and mouth become dry, it will lead to bad breath.
Where Can I Get a Retainer?
After your braces are removed, the orthodontist who conducted your treatment will provide you with your custom-made retainer. At Shirck Orthodontics, we offer complete orthodontic treatments, including an array of options for braces and the retainers needed after treatment. Contact our office to learn more about your options for a straight smile.