Did you just finish orthodontic treatment and forgot some instructions on how to care for your retainers? Have you been done with treatment for a while and need a refresher on what you can and cannot do with your retainers? Do you just want some more information on retainers and why you have to wear them? Look no further! Here are 7 Rules for Retainers to follow to make the most out of your orthodontic treatment!
7 Rules for Retainers
Wear your retainers 24/7
(or as instructed by your orthodontist) except when eating and brushing.
- Immediately after treatment: Your teeth will start to move back right away! Your teeth are still a bit “soft” inside the bone and will start to move back quickly. This is the most important time to continue to wear your retainers as instructed
- Remember to put your retainer back in after eating and brushing!
- Even with very good retainer wear, your teeth may still move a little. Everyone is a bit different – some people’s teeth will move faster or more than others. Teeth can still move with permanent retainers (LINK BLOG), too! That is why retainers should be worn FOR LIFE.
When the retainers are not in your mouth, they MUST go back in the retainer box.
- Do NOT wrap your retainers in a napkin. You WILL throw it away with lunch.
Brush your retainers under cool running water every time you brush your teeth.
- NO TOOTHPASTE – Toothpaste will scratch your retainer and make it look cloudy.
- NO HOT WATER – If you have a clear retainer, it may melt your retainer.
- For Tartar Buildup – Soak your retainers for 20 minutes in denture cleaner or white vinegar to get rid of tartar. Then brush it under cool, running water. If tartar is still on your retainer, repeat the soaking cycle a few times.
Keep away from pets, especially dogs.
- Dogs LOVE chewing on retainers! They smell like your saliva, which they think is the yummiest!
- Make sure your retainer is always in the box.
- Make sure your box is out of the reach of dogs – they will chew through the box and get to your retainer!
If your retainer is rough:
- Lightly polish with a nail file, or
- Lightly sand the rough edge with a high-grit sandpaper.
If your retainer is poking or hurting – Call us for an appointment.
- You may need a new retainer, especially if you have not worn it for awhile.
- Your retainer may need to be adjusted, which is normal.
If your retainer is broken or lost, call us to get fitted for a new one before your teeth shift too much!
If you are not a current patient, you can still get a new retainer. Call (707) 474-4707 or message us to schedule a complimentary consult and discuss all the options available to you, including all kinds of retainers.