retainers

How to Take Care of Your Retainers [Orthodontic Guide]

Taking Care of your Retainers

Your dental care will not end when you finally remove your braces. Retainers are essential for the stabilization of your new teeth arrangement. Braces force teeth to move back into the mouth, and this involves the absorption of bones in the back of the oral cavity. To keep your great appearance, you will have to use retainers for a period that is stipulated by your doctor. In many cases, patients have to use these products for the rest of their lives. Depending on some factors, the period can even be as short as three months. Retainers are worn only part of the time, usually three to five times a week for those using them in their entire lifetimes.

These products are usually designed to serve you for between 3 to 10 years. Taking care of dental retainers will make them last for that entire period without causing dental conditions on you. Taking care of dental retainers can be done by:

• Always Carrying Your Retainer Case with You

Many times, people lose their retainers because of poor storage. Since most are removable, people can take them off and wrap them up in a napkin or other material. In such cases, they can easily be confused for trash and disposed of by other people in the room. If you use tissues, the material will get into the retainer, and this will make it very difficult to clean.

You are also highly likely to forget where you placed them. Retainer cases are easy to notice and can never be thrown out with the trash. Replacing these items can be a financial setback, so this might be a wise consideration.

• Taking Them off When Having a Meal

To take care of retainers, you will have to remove them when eating. They can easily collect dirt between your teeth when you eat. Plaque can be hard to flush out with water since the pockets are hard to reach. This will not just affect the retainer, but also your dental health. Cleaning your retainer will also become unnecessarily hard if it has plaque and food remains on it.

• Removing Your Retainer When Brushing Teeth

Brushing your teeth with your retainer on can make you miss some sections of your mouth. That will mean more plaque and tartar is left on your teeth, and this will affect your general dental health. Over time, your retainers will also be heavily covered in plaque and cleaning them can become very difficult. Brushing your teeth with your retainers on can also alter their position. In the wrong position, retainers will not serve their purpose.  To prevent such troubles, you should always take off retainers when brushing teeth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5d9SAzU8hU

• Cleaning Your Retainer Regularly

Retainers should always be cleaned before storage. Cleaning retainers involve brushing and rinsing, just like you do for your teeth. Occasionally, you can also soak them in a solution for a thorough cleaning.

This helps to get rid of tartar and plaque that are likely to have found a way into the device. Even if you always take your retainers off before meals, these elements can get into your dental gadgets when you have quick snacks. Since you don’t brush your teeth after every meal, plaque will also get to the retainer from your teeth. In such cases, cleaning will not be a very difficult job.

If you fail to clean your retainers properly, you will end up with a bad mouth odor since the same bacteria will affect your oral cavity.

Not all cleaning methods are safe for this equipment. For example, you should never clean them by dipping in boiling water. This will damage their plastic parts. The hot water will also warp the metallic parts of the retainer. Many retainers are made of plastic, and the entire thing will lose shape if subjected to such high temperatures.

All you need for cleaning purposes is toothpaste and clean water. It is important to consult your dentist before brushing your retainers. The best way to take care of retainers will depend on the specific one you are using. If your dental device can be brushed, you should make sure to use a soft brush to prevent damage. Chemicals such as bleach and alcohol-based mouthwash can easily damage your retainer. You can let the retainer soak in a solution of baking soda, denture tablets, and mild vinegar. A cleaning agent for dentures can also work perfectly for the soaking of retainers.

• Protecting It from Extreme Conditions

Retainers get damaged when exposed to extremely dry or hot conditions. This is the reason why they should never be soaked in hot water. Also, they should not be placed in direct sunlight as this will make them very dry. In such a state, retainers are likely to crack. You should never use electronic appliances to clean retainers as they would be exposed to extremely hot conditions. In the same vein, it should never be left close to a heat source.

When not in use for a long time, they can be soaked in water to prevent drying. Ideally, you should mix the water with appropriate cleaning agents so that the retainers can stay free of germs and bacteria while in storage.

• Being Gentle When Wearing or Removing Them

Always take your time when wearing retainers and adjust them slowly with your hands. Flipping with too much energy can make the retainers break. You should also never adjust them with your tongue since this will lead to early damage.  Always examine your retainers for any signs of damage or loss of shape. In such states, they will be unable to serve their functions and might need to be replaced.

Conclusion

Once you are done with your braces, it is important to start wearing retainers. These are important for the maintenance of the state of your teeth. Many people fail to take care of their retainers, and this costs a lot of money for replacements. On average, these items are meant to last for a period of about ten years.

It is important to always have your storage case with you since you are likely to remove the retainer once or twice through the day. You should always remember to clean them after use and before storage. To prevent damage, you should soak them in an appropriate solution. Ask your orthodontist for advice by booking an appointment on the best way to take care of retainers since they all have different cleaning guidelines.

 

BEECROFT ORTHODONTICS

11113 Leavells Rd. Fredericksburg, VA 22407

Phone: 540 898 2200

How to Take Care of Your Retainers 

 

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Help, I’m Wearing my Orthodontic Retainer, but my Teeth are Moving!

Beecroft Orthodontics LAST UPDATED: APRIL 25, 2017

When you've gone through the lengthy process of treatment with braces, it's a great sigh of relief when those braces come off and you can finally show off those pearly whites. Wearing an orthodontic retainer is just par for the course, the final stage of treatment that will help you to preserve those straight teeth after all of that time and effort.

FAQ

Orthodontic Retainers and Post-Braces Care: What if Your Teeth Move?

You need to follow your orthodontist's instructions to the letter and wear that retainer for as long as is specified. If you've noticed some shifting after your braces come off, even while using your retainer, don't be alarmed. It's all a part of the process.

Can I Expect Some Movement in the Initial Period After the Braces Come Off?

When your braces come off, movement is to be expected. Your gums are going to start to adjust, becoming healthier as you can finally give yourself excellent oral hygiene once more. In addition, your teeth will actually start to settle once the wires and brackets are removed. They'll come together in a natural way. This shifting or settling is generally more noticeable in the back or on the sides. Shifting should not be as obvious in the most important area, the front that is the first thing everyone sees.

What Are Other Factors that Affect Movement After Your Braces are Removed?

Even though you are wearing your retainer, you may still see minor changes in the alignment of your teeth for a variety of reasons. If you are still growing, your jaw will be changing and this may alter the appearance of your teeth. You also need to pay attention to your tongue. If you are in the habit of pressing your tongue against your teeth, it may cause shifting. Do your best to avoid any unnecessary pressure on your teeth. You should not see any major alterations. Remember that your body is going to change as you age and that includes your mouth. As your jaw adjusts, shifts, or moves over the course of the coming years, you may see slight alterations in the appearance of your teeth as well.

Should I Keep Wearing My Retainer and See My Orthodontist?

The main thing you need to remember is that your retainer is a must. You have put in the time and invested a great deal of money in getting that beautiful smile. In order to have the most promising results after you've had orthodontic treatment, keep wearing your retainer for the length of time per your orthodontist's instructions. If you are concerned about any shifting in your teeth, make an appointment with our orthodontist specialist at Beecroft Orthodontics. An adjustment in the type of retainer you are wearing may be a remedy to the problem. Your orthodontic specialist will be able to answer all of your questions and assist you in whatever way possible to make sure you keep a beautiful smile for years to come.

Contact Us Now!

We at Beecroft Orthodontics hope that we have done enough to clarify the difference between the two. For any further consultations or if you would like to utilize our services, do not hesitate to call us. We eagerly await the chance to guide you on the journey back to dental wellness.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Help, I’m Wearing my Orthodontic Retainer, but my Teeth are Moving!

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Braces Treatment: Retainers Phase

LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 28, 2017

How Long Should Someone Wear a Retainer after Braces are Removed?

It’s the first question a patient asks after their braces come off, we've celebrated the momentous occasion, and handed him a retainer: How long do I have to wear my retainer?

It’s a good and valid question.

I’ll highlight the type of retainer used most often, why retainers are so important and how long you need to wear them.

FAQ

When are retainers used most often?

Orthodontists use the clear plastic retainers most often. Even though there are retainers with a metal wire that go across the front of the teeth, there’s nothing worse than getting your braces off and having an orthodontist put a metal wire in your mouth, saying, “You have to wear this full time for a few months.” So, we use the clear plastic retainer, which fits snuggly around the teeth. It won’t allow the teeth move or turn and, it doesn’t irritate the tongue and lips. When it comes to speaking it usually only takes a day or two to adjust.

 

 

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers are important because when you get your braces off, they moved the teeth into a position they’re not naturally accustomed to. Your teeth were crooked for a reason. Most likely, your mouth and its natural habitat (your tongue, lips and cheeks) caused your teeth to go into the position they were in initially. Now we've put the teeth in almost an unnatural position, a position they didn't want to be in at first. So the teeth and mouth have to adapt to the change. The retainer keeps teeth in place as the tongue, lips and cheeks adjust to their placement. And, the teeth reorganize themselves in the bones and almost “solidify.”

How long should you wear a retainer?

We ask you to wear your retainer full-time for three months, when the teeth tend to move the quickest. You can take the retainer out to eat, to brush your teeth, and for special occasions (i.e., big dates and public speeches). But other than that, you should wear it at least 22-23 hours a day. You’ll notice if you take it out, the teeth will move quickly. After about three months, if everything looks good, we’ll switch you to nighttime wear. Then, you don’t have to worry about taking the retainer in and out at lunch, school, or work. You can just pop it in when you go to bed, take it out in the morning, and your teeth should remain in place.

Do you have to wear a retainer for the rest of your life?

If you want a 100% guarantee that your teeth won’t budge, the only option is to wear the retainer. Some people can eventually stop wearing their retainers. Others will wear retainers more, due to teeth placement and the natural environment of the mouth. After about a year of wearing the retainers at night, I tell patients, “Now it’s your turn to be the orthodontist.” When you take the retainer in and out, you want it to feel passive on your teeth. You don’t want that tight feeling to let you know your teeth moved during the day and you need to wear your retainer more.

If you have that passive feeling when taking the retainer in and out, then you can wear it less and slowly wear it off . You can go from wearing it once a week to a couple of times a month to once a month, but, I caution you to always keep it around and try it on to ensure that passive feeling isn't gone. Unfortunately, if you do see movement, it’s usually too late to fix it with the retainer.

Overall, most people are okay with wearing retainers at night. After all, why not continue wearing the retainers at night, so you know the years spent getting your teeth really nice wasn't a total waste? Let’s face it--there’s nothing worse than having a patient return, (after working so hard to have his teeth look nicer) because his teeth shifted from not wearing the retainer enough.

Feel free to contact Beecroft Orthodontics whenever you want information or help regarding any oral problem you might be experiencing.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Braces Treatment: Retainers Phase

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