Typically the last stage of orthodontic care, your retainer helps you achieve the beautiful smile and functional bite you want. As a result, it’s essential to take proper care of this device, or risk having to return to braces once more. Our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Kenneth Banasiak, and our skilled team will provide you with tips for maintaining your retainer during your regular checkups. These suggestions can help ensure your outcome and reduce further tooth movement. Additionally, if you ever have any questions, you can refer to this page or give us a call to learn more.
Why are retainers necessary?
Once your teeth have been moved into the desired position, a retainer is used to hold the teeth in place and allow the oral structures to stabilize. Your results are dependent on this process; without this stage, your teeth could easily move out of position and require further orthodontic treatment. To achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time, proper wear and care of your retainer is necessary. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to use and service a retainer, and any discomfort you feel in the beginning should fade after a few days of wear.
How should I care for my retainer?
- Like teeth, retainers need daily brushing. Your regular toothbrush and toothpaste works the best (avoid household cleaning products and boiling water). Hold the retainer securely in your hands by the plastic central portion, and try to avoid putting much pressure on the back edges and on the wires. These efforts can keep your retainer in good shape for the duration of your treatment.
- When you remove the retainer, do so carefully. Begin at the back and gently pull down using your pointer fingers at the top and thumbs on the bottom. Work your way carefully around until the retainer “pops” out. If you try to remove the retainer forcefully from the front it can cause weakness or breakage.
- Remember to keep your retainer in its case when not in use, and those times include when you’re eating or drinking, or when you’re swimming. Our orthodontist can let you know if there are any other occasions when you should remove your retainer; all other times it should be worn consistently, including at night.
We use a variety of retainers at Banasiak & Nettune Orthodontic Associates, and your device may require special care. Your retainer will be made from a mold taken the same day your braces are removed. Our orthodontist will determine which type of appliance offers you the best results for your needs and goals, and he will provide more detailed instructions for maintenance during your fitting session.
If you have additional questions about retainers, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can give you more information or help you to schedule a consultation to address any concerns you may have.