Many people believe after braces, their orthodontic treatment is complete. Post braces begins the retention phase and it is a lifelong commitment. A retainer must be worn after treatment to avoid the teeth shifting back into the position they were in before. Wearing a retainer is common and necessary after completing braces.
Designed to maintain your beautiful results, retainers can minimize the risk of orthodontic relapse. If it makes your teeth feel tight, that is a clue that you need to wear it more often. Retainers are also typical during two-phase treatment for children, reducing the need for additional orthodontic care later on.
Once your child has their braces removed, they must learn to care for their retainer. Our team will take the time to teach them how to accomplish this. First, a removable retainer is taken out and therefore can be lost easily. Your child will need a case to hold the appliance when not in use to avoid losing it as well as to avoid germs and protect from damage.
Any time a retainer is used it should always be treated delicately and cleaned regularly for optimal oral health. They are fragile and expensive to replace. Wearing your retainer is as important as cleaning your retainer. Keeping your retainer clean can help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, both potentially severe oral health concerns.
Following the instructions provided to your by Izadi Orthodontics will help keep your retainer clean and fresh. Follow these simple steps on a daily basis to keep your retainer in optimal condition.
- Brush: You should brush your retainer every day to keep it free from plaque and bacteria buildup. Brushing your retainer can and should be made part of your regular oral hygiene routine. After you brush your teeth, thoroughly scrub your retainer before putting it back in your mouth.
- Soak: Retainers should also be soaked in Polident, Efferdent, or another recommended cleaner. Dissolve the cleaner in room temperature water and place the retainer in the glass. Soaking the retainer will help reduce and neutralize odors.
- Protect: When you are not wearing or cleaning your retainer, it should be placed in the custom case provided to you by your team at Izadi Orthodontics. Retainers are custom-made fragile oral appliances and should be protected from damage or loss. The case can help keep your retainer from getting cracked and will keep it clean while not in use.
Taking care of your retainer is important. Retainer compliance can help maintain your smile for a lifetime. Be sure to clean it at least twice a day thoroughly, and rinse it after taking it out to eat. Cleaning your retainer can help you avoid halitosis, and it will make your retainer taste better in your mouth.
Our orthodontic care team will make personalized recommendations on how to maintain your oral health and orthodontic results. We want to see you enjoy your beautiful smile for many years to come.
Orthodontic Retainer FAQs
How long do you have to wear a retainer?
After you complete braces treatment, Dr. Izadi will require you to wear your retainer for at least 1 year. By following our recommendations, you may not have to get braces again.
Can you eat with a retainer on?
No. Do not eat while wearing your retainers. Remove your retainers before eating anything to prevent choking on them. Place them in a case or safe area in view while you eat. Always rinse your mouth before placing them back on.
Why do retainers hurt?
Retainers are constantly pushing your teeth to train them to stay aligned. They may cause a sore feeling, but this is normal. Without your retainer, you are more likely to undo the work your braces did. In some instances, broken retainers can also cause issues.
Should I keep my retainer in water when I’m not wearing it?
Yes. Your retainer can be soaked in water to keep the plastic from drying out. You can leave it soaking overnight while you sleep and clean it in the morning before putting it back on.
Do retainers give you a permanent lisp?
No. Retainers don’t usually give patients a lisp. If you are having trouble speaking with your retainer on, or it’s moving around too much, contact us for adjustments. Retainers should fit snuggly and should not cause speech issues if worn properly.
Can I drink water with my retainer in?
You should never risk damaging your retainers by eating while they are in your mouth. If you want to drink anything besides water, you should take out your retainers. Water is the only beverage that is safe to drink with retainers.
Can I brush my teeth with retainers on?
Brushing your retainer the same way you do your teeth is an easy way to keep it germ-free and safe. We recommend brushing your retainer with a non-abrasive toothpaste and rinsing it in warm water to remove bacteria.
How do I know if my retainer doesn’t fit?
To test if your retainer fits, gently insert it into your mouth to see if it slides into position. Your retainer should feel slightly tight when you first put it in but should loosen up over time to eliminate any discomfort. If you are concerned about the fit of your retainer, call our office to schedule an appointment today!