Caring for Your Retainers
While removable retainers do not require the same time intensive care as braces, they still require proper care to help you achieve optimal results and to keep your teeth health for a lifetime. We are here to help!
Remove When Eating or Drinking
The FR, Tooth Positioner, Herbst, Hawley, Invisible Retainers and Bite Splints are all removable. They are meant to be taken out whenever you eat or drink something. Eating with your retainers in can cause damage that can interfere with your treatment. Additionally, certain types of food and drinks contain heavy concentrations of dark pigments like marinara sauce, curry, tea and wine for example. These can stain your retainers, making them more visible in your mouth. We recommend only drinking water with your retainer in. Upon removing your retainer, it is important that you rinse or brush it before returning it to your case. This will remove any plaque and bacteria that may have accumulated and prevent it from hardening on your appliance making it difficult to remove in the future.
Proper Storage for Your Retainer
Whenever you take out your retainer, store it in a protective case like the one we have provided. This will help prevent it from getting accidentally thrown away at the lunch table or forgotten if you are eating out at a restaurant. Keeping your retainer in a case, in a safe location, will also help to keep it away from curious younger children and pets. We like to say, if it’s not in your face, it’s in your case!
If You Play Sports
If you play contact sports, a mouth guard is essential for protecting your teeth and jaw. With traditional braces, playing a contact sport requires a special mouth guard that can be worn over your orthodontic braces. Dr. Diers recommends the Shock Doctor. When your braces are removed, you will be given a Tooth Positioner which is the ideal option for contact sports after the braces are removed. If you have an FR, you should remove it for contact sports and wear a regular mouth guard instead. If you play sports that do not require a mouth guard, you may leave your retainer in as usual.
Oral Hygiene with Retainers
Good oral hygiene is critical for the prevention of serious issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Traditional braces are well known for making excellent oral hygiene more difficult. Having to brush and floss around and under brackets and wires can be tedious and there are numerous places where bacteria and plaque can hide, increasing the risk of decalcification and cavities. Even though you do not wear a removable retainer while eating, it is still important that you brush and floss regularly before and after wearing your retainer. Neglecting your oral health enables your retainer to trap food particles and debris against your teeth, which can lead to later dental problems. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, it is also important that you clean your retainer daily with a toothbrush and paste.
Taking care of your retainers throughout treatment ensures that you achieve the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment and that your mouth remains healthy in the process!
Are you interested in learning more about caring for your retainers? Give us a call at (513) 829-4400. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!
Or contact us online today!