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How to Take Proper Care of Your Retainer

After you have braces or other tooth straightening procedures, a retainer is required to keep your teeth in that formation. You don’t want them to shift back to the position that they were in before you got treatment. It’s a lifelong commitment to keep your teeth straight. Retainers also require proper care so that they stay clean and efficient. Your orthodontist in Timonium, MD, Izadi Orthodontics, offers tips to make sure you take proper care of your retainer.

timonium, maryland orthodontist

The Importance of Your Retainer

A retainer is the main prevention tool orthodontists use to prevent orthodontic relapse. After you have braces, it’s important to make sure your teeth don’t try to shift back to the crooked positions they were in before. This is where a retainer comes in. Oftentimes, Dr. Mohammad Izadi will recommend that you wear it every night after your braces are off.

If you’re not wearing your retainer frequently enough, it’ll start to feel tight when you wear it. This is because your teeth are shifting and are no longer in the alignment of the retainer. If you experience this, make sure you wear your retainer again immediately so that the teeth don’t shift further. If they shift too much, you may not be able to wear your retainer at all. 

Why You Need Retainer Care

Retainers are delicate objects. If you’re careless with them, they can break or stop serving their purpose. They can also be pricey to replace if you lose or break them. Cleaning them regularly is also important to maintain proper oral health. Without proper cleaning, they can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, among other issues.

Particularly if your child is the one with a retainer, get a case to make sure that it doesn’t get lost. A case can also protect it from getting damaged or collecting germs. 

How to Clean Your Retainer

To keep your retainer in optimal condition, it’s important to thoroughly clean it at least twice a day. If you wear it all day and take it out to eat, give it a rinse each time for an extra step. Not cleaning your retainer can make it taste bad in your mouth and can lead to chronic bad breath.

Get into a routine of brushing your retainer when you brush your teeth. This should be done every day so plaque and bacteria don’t accumulate on the surface of the retainer. Every time you brush your teeth, take your retainer out and make sure that it gets brushed too.

Next, retainers also need to be soaked, similar to dentures. Common cleaners are Polident and Efferdent, but Dr. Izadi can also tell you what he recommends. Mix the cleaner into a glass of room temperature water. Let your retainer soak to reduce odors and give it a deeper cleaning

It’s important to make sure your retainer is protected. When you get your retainer, Dr. Izadi will also provide you with a custom-made case for it. This keeps it clean when it isn’t in use, as well as prevent cracking or other damage from occurring. Keep your case on the bathroom sink or somewhere similar where you’ll always see it and know where it is.

Getting a Retainer From Your Timonium, Maryland Orthodontist

At Izadi Orthodontics, our staff is dedicated to getting you a retainer that’s a perfect fit to keep your teeth nice and straight. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started!