If you’ve ever had braces or know someone who does, you’ve
heard of a retainer and how important it is to care for them. After you
finish orthodontic treatment, we will prescribe a retainer to you. This
maintains the new position of your teeth. Taking care of your retainer
is important, because if you don’t, then you may require additional
orthodontic treatment.

Possibly the most important part of caring for your retainer is actually
wearing it. We will tell you how long and often you should wear your retainer.
This information may vary from patient to patient.

To prevent losing your retainer, you should store it in a retainer case
any time that you take it out of your mouth. Your retainer case is designed
to protect your retainer from damage. We have seen too many patients who
accidently throw their retainer out. To avoid doing that, you should not
wrap your retainer in paper or napkins. This is especially true at school
or restaurants. Pets are known to be attracted to retainers. Don’t
let Fido ruin your new smile!

Heat can destroy a retainer. It can cause the retainer to distort to the
point of being useless. Do not store your retainer near heat sources,
or in direct sunlight. Many people leave their retainer in their car,
but we highly discourage this. Cars can get very hot and a retainer can
be destroyed in a short time.

Also, retainers need cleaned. You can brush most retainers the same way
that you brush your teeth. To deep clean your retainer, you can soak it
in retainer cleaning solution. To keep your retainer from drying out when
you are not wearing it, you can soak it in clean water.

Congratulations on finishing your orthodontic treatment. Your retainer
will allow you to maintain the corrected state of your teeth. Taking care
of the retainer is very important. If you follow these steps, then your
smile will likely last a lifetime.