Retainers Aftercare: Do’s and Don’ts

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If you have just undergone a dental procedure to correct your teeth alignment or treat some other oral health issue, your doctor might have asked you to wear a thing called a retainer. 

The main purpose of these retainers is to keep your teeth aligned after you have stopped using braces. Retainers can do a lot for your oral health during or after treatment. They can prevent treatment reversal, correct your bite, align your jawbone, and restore your teeth to their right position.

In this article, we will look at some of the most useful do’s and don’ts of retainer aftercare. This information will help you make the most of your dental retainers and avoid health risks.

Do’s for Retainer Aftercare

Here are a few things that you can do to take better care of your retainers to restore your smile

  1. Store With Adequate Ventilation

If you store your retainer in a closed and humid place, chances are it can lead to bacteria growth or mold presence. Putting these contaminated retainers in your mouth can transfer these bacteria into your system which can lead to several health risks.

You can easily avoid that by storing your retainer in a container where they get a sufficient supply of fresh air.

  1. Remove While Eating and Drinking

It is advised that you reduce the use of sticky food and sugary drinks while wearing braces. Food particles can get stuck in the crevices of your retainer and it becomes very hard to clean these.

Always take your retainers out and place these in a recommended container before eating. This way you can ensure the retainer doesn’t get damaged or unclean while you eat your favorite food.

  1. Brush the Retainer Regularly

It is a good idea to clean your retainer on a daily basis with recommended toothpaste and rinse it with cool water. Make sure to clean the retainer properly from all sides with a brush. Leaving even the smallest part can lead to the accumulation of germs and bacteria which can affect your health.

  1. Use a Retainer Case for Storage

In order to keep your retainer clean, dry, and safe from damage, you can store it in a case given to you by your orthodontist. These cases allow adequate airflow and they keep your retainer free from stress and reduce damage risks to a great extent.

  1. Look for any Buildup and Clean

Look for any kind of build-up on your retainer and when you see it wash it with a water solution and cleaning tab. This solution can remove the buildup, kill all the bacteria, and prevent discoloration of your retainers. For cleaning you can use a toothbrush that is medically approved.

  1. Wear the Retainer as Directed

Depending on your individual condition, your dentist might ask you to wear the retainer full-time, nightly, or in a sporadic manner. You need to make sure you wear the retainer for as long as your doctor asks you to. Wearing it more can put extra pressure on your teeth and if you don’t wear it for the recommended time, it can lead to incomplete alignment of your teeth.

Don’ts for Retainer Aftercare

Here are a few things that you need to avoid at all costs when taking care of retainers

  1. Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

You need to avoid certain foods and drinks including chewing gum, extra hot and cold beverages, popcorn, hard candy, tough and chewy foods, nuts, etc. All these foods can damage your retainer permanently. Any damage to your retainer can affect the alignment of your teeth and that is why you need to watch carefully what you eat.

  1. Do not Leave Retainers in the Open

leaving your retainer out in the open can invite many risks. It can attract bacteria and germs. There is also a possibility of you losing your retainer if you do not store it in its case.

  1. Never Soak Retainers in Mouth Wash or Denture Solution

Chemicals used in mouthwash and denture solutions can interact with the material of the retainer and cause it to break down. This can lead to permanent damage to your retainer. In order to avoid it, only wash the retainer with a solution that is suitable for the material of your retainer.

  1. Avoid Putting Retainers in Boiling Water

Hot water is really bad for your retainer since it can cause it to become misshapen or warped. This can potentially make your retainer ineffective by disturbing its shape and alignment.

You can find retainer-specific cleaning solutions in the market. Soaking your retainer in such solutions will not only remove any bacteria but also ensure there are zero damage risks to the structure and shape of your retainer.

  1. Do not Wrap Retainers in a Napkin

Napkins are not a good way to store your retainers after use. Napkins and tissues do not provide the same protection as a retainer case. Your retainer can easily slip out of your napkin and fall on the ground.

Moreover, your napkin can easily be mistaken for trash and thrown out which can waste a lot of your money. The safest and cleanest way to store a retainer is in its case. Every other option is risky and unreliable in a lot of ways. 

Can You Eat With Retainers?

Dentists recommend that you should always remove your retainer or clear aligner from your mouth before eating any food. If you eat and drink with the retainer in place, it puts your teeth and the retainer itself at a huge risk. 

Final Thoughts

It is important that you keep your retainers in the best possible condition at all times. For your retainer to do its job well, you need to adopt the above-mentioned care and maintenance habits. This will not only prolong the life of the retainers but also ensure the best quality output.

If you keep the above dos and don’ts of retainer care in mind, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful smile and much better overall oral health for years to come.  

Contact Specialist Dental Services to get the right teeth retainer for yourself in London, UK.

Dr. Narinder Dhadwal

Narinder is a Specialist Periodontist based in private practice. She qualified from St. Bartholomew’s & The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London in 2007. During her studies she was awarded the Harold Fink Prize for outstanding academic achievement.

Posted On : August 10, 2023




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