Everything You Need to Know About Retainers!
What is a retainer?
A retainer is a fixed (glued in) or removable appliance that is worn after braces or clear aligners (ex.Invisalign). The purpose of a retainer is to keep your teeth beautifully straight. There are fixed, or glued in retainers that are glued in behind your teeth or removable retainers that can be worn during the day or at night.
Why are retainers important?
Teeth are always trying to move due to 2 main factors:
- Your gums have a memory and want to make your teeth crooked again.
- With age, teeth like to overlap and shift in the front.
Retainers help fight these factors to keep your teeth straight!
How long do I have to wear retainers for?
Your body changes your whole life, and your teeth change too. The only way to keep your teeth straight is to wear your retainers for life!
How do I keep my retainers clean?
- Brush before and after wearing them each time with a soft bristled toothbrush and water. You can also use mild hand soap. Cleaning the retainers with toothpaste is not recommended as toothpaste contains particles that can scratch the retainers over time making them foggy and creating plaque traps.
- Occasionally, you can soak the retainers in a solution specifically designed for them. We recommend Retainer Brite. Be sure to follow the instructions and don’t soak the retainers for any longer than recommended time (15 minutes for Retainer Brite).
How long do retainers last?
With proper care, retainers can last many years. However, remember that retainers are similar to any other device and likely will need to be replaced at some point. Proper care of retainers will help make them last longer. “Proper care” consists of:
- Storing removable retainers in their cases when the retainers are not in the mouth.
- Keeping retainers away from pets.
- Don’t put your retainers in your pocket without the case.
- Keeping retainers away from heat sources.
What happens if I lose or break my retainer?
If you lose or break your retainer, please contact your orthodontist right away so that new retainers can be made before your teeth shift.