How to care for retainers

Most orthodontists would agree that wearing retainers after orthodontic treatment is complete is just as important – if not more important – than the treatment itself.  Without retainers, teeth will likely start to shift away from the beautiful alignment you see the day your braces come off.  Patients make an important investment in their smiles, and it is important to maintain those beautiful smiles.

Clear retainerThe best way to do this is to take good care of your retainers so they will last a long time and help you maintain your final treatment results. Your saliva contains proteins in it that if allowed to dry on the retainer will create a yellow, foul-smelling buildup over time.  Ideally, every time you remove your retainers to eat or brush your teeth, you should gently brush your retainers.  This will go a long way toward keeping them fresh and clean.  If you are in a place where you can’t clean your retainers, the best thing to do is rinse them with water to prevent the protein buildup that your saliva creates.

If you do happen to get some buildup on your retainers, the best product for cleaning them is a denture cleaner or some other type of dental appliance cleaner that can be purchased at any grocery store or pharmacy.  You want to avoid soaking them in products like household cleaners or even mouthwash as this can stain or weaken the materials the retainers are made out of with repeated exposure.  Take good care of your retainers and they should serve you well for many years.  If you have questions about how to care for your retainers or need to replace a lost or broken retainer, contact us at Budd Orthodontics.  We are here to serve you.