Caring for Your Retainer
After you have orthodontic treatment completed, such as braces or aligners, you will likely be given a retainer. The retainer is meant to keep the results that you and your orthodontist worked so hard to achieve with your original treatment intact. The retainer can help to limit the amount of change that your mouth goes through, preserving your straight smile or bite. In order to keep your mouth healthy, you need to know how to care for this appliance.
Remove your Retainer
Always make sure to remove your retainer before you eat anything. This will help to prevent bacteria from growing on it. It will also help to keep it in good condition as they are fragile appliances that could easily break if put into harsh contact with food.
Brush your Retainer
Just like you brush your teeth twice per day, you should do the same for your retainer. Make sure to remove it when you are ready to brush and floss. When you are cleaning your teeth, take a minute to brush your retainer. This will remove any harboring bacteria that can cause bad breath as well as tooth decay and gum disease. Even though your retainer gets removed while you eat, it is still vulnerable to bacteria, which can put your mouth at risk.
Once per week it is important to fully disinfect your retainer. Ask your orthodontist which method is acceptable for your type of retainer. Typically a denture cleaner is recommended as it will remove all bacteria that you could not remove by simply brushing it. This will help prevent serious infection and disease from occurring in your mouth.