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Retainers 101: 10 Tips on Taking Better Care of Them

By Connolly Orthodontics

Congratulations! Your braces are off, and you’re ready to flash that gorgeous new smile to everyone you see! You deserve it for months of dedication and hard work. Nothing more to do, right? Well, not quite. There is one final, important step you must take to keep that beautiful new smile — wear your retainers. There are several important things you need to know and remember about your retainers. 

Here are some important instructions, tips, and suggestions to get the best out of your retainers. Proper care will keep your retainers around for years, but if you ever do have a problem with your retainers, Connolly Orthodontics will be here to help. 

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Tips on Wearing Your Retainers

Your retainers should be worn as soon as you leave the office with them. It is vitally important to wear your retainers at least 22 hours a day in the first several months. That’s because your teeth are still in movement mode, so they will continue to move even with your braces removed. The only way to keep your teeth in place is to wear your retainers. 

Here are the best tips for wearing your retainers:

  • Wear them 22 hours a day
  • Only remove them to brush, floss, eat, or drink colored liquids (you can keep them in drinking plain water
  • Remove your retainers with two hands by popping off both sides at the same time. This reduces the chance of bending or damaging your retainers.
  • Brush your teeth and rinse your retainers before returning them to your mouth.
  • You may need to practice talking in your retainers at first, as you may have a slight slur. But you’ll get the hang of it soon. 
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Tips on Care for Your Retainers

Caring for your retainers is important because they are meant to last you for years. Your retainers should be cleaned regularly and stored each time they are removed from your mouth. Over time, you’ll be required to wear your retainers for fewer hours in the day, but that means you’ll have to make sure it’s stored properly for hours at a time. Replacement retainers can be expensive, so the better care you take of the ones you have, the less expensive it will be over time. 

Here are some tips on how to care for your retainers and keep them around for years.

  • Clean your retainers daily with a soft-bristled brush. Do not use toothpaste, particularly on clear retainers, as the abrasive material can scratch the acrylic. Retainer cleanser tablets, clear liquid soap, or baking soda dissolved in water will do the trick.
  • Keep your retainers in a storage container when they’re out of your mouth. This will keep them from getting lost or damaged
  • Never wrap them in a napkin that can be mistakenly thrown away. You’d be surprised how often this happens. 
  • Keep your retainer away from small children and pets. They both look to them as toys, and it never ends well for the retainers. 
  • Keep your retainers away from heat. Hot water, hot cars, washing machines, or dishwashers can damage your retainers. The last thing you want is melted retainers!
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Getting Retainers in Ballantyne and Matthews, NC

Connolly Orthodontics is here to help if your braces get lost or damaged. Contact us immediately with any issues because the longer you go without your retainers, the better your chances of your teeth moving out of place. We certainly don’t want that! We’ll see you for occasional checkups, and you’ll need to bring your retainers with you when you visit our Ballantyne, NC, or Matthews, NC, office. We can make any necessary adjustments to ensure your retainers keep a comfortable fit in your mouth. 

If you want to know more about our retainers, or if you’re looking to get treatment with braces or Invisalign, contact us or use our virtual consult tool to get started with us! Your initial consultation is free and without obligation. From your first visit to your retainers, Connolly Orthodontics is here for you!

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