Retainer: Do’s and Don’ts!

A surprising number of people wear retainers these days whether from orthodontic work, medical reasons, etc. Whatever the reason you have for wearing a retainer, here are some do’s and don’ts to follow!

The Do’s:
1. Wear them as directed. Your orthodontist may want you to wear your retainer all day long, or just at night. Consult your orthodontist for further instruction!
2. Take your retainer out when eating.
3. Rinse the device thoroughly every day and dry it before storing it.
4. Clean it thoroughly in retainer cleaning solution, denture cleaner or a baking soda and water solution once a week.
5. Brush your teeth after every meal.
6. Brush your retainer with toothpaste before bedtime or upon awakening in the morning.
7. Keep your retainer in your mouth or in its container. This will reduce the possibility of you losing it!
8. Bring your retainer when you visit the orthodontist for checkups. This helps the doctor determine if the retainer is still a good fit for you!

The Don’ts:
1. Don’t eat sticky candies like taffy and gummy worms.
2. Don’t place it on a bedside table or in a tissue or napkin. This dries out the retainer, plus it makes it extremely easy to throw it away by accident!
3. Don’t leave the device in your pocket without securing it inside its container.
4. Don’t leave it exposed outside its case for hours.
5. Don’t boil the retainer or sterilize it with alcohol. You can damage the structure.
6. Don’t skip nights. Even one or two nights without wearing your retainer can cause shifting!
7. Don’t flip them or play with them using your tongue. Just leave them alone so you don’t ruin the retainer, cause it to fall onto the ground, or damage your mouth!
8. Don’t put your retainer in the dishwasher.
9. Don’t leave your retainer where pets or small children could get at it. Dog’s really like them as chew toys!

Is your retainer broken? Do you think you need a “tune up”? Don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment to take a look at your retainer and make adjustments as needed!

This article was written by Valley Dental

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