There are different orthodontic retainers, but the two main types are clear retainers and wire retainers. From the name itself, both types of retainers help to “retain” or maintain the position of your teeth and stop them from shifting back after you’ve had your braces removed.
But there are some instances that retainers are used even if you’ve never worn any type of braces before, specifically ones that have expanders.
Regardless of what type of retainer you’re wearing or the reason why you are wearing them, there are some bad habits you may have that could ruin your retainers. Here are some helpful tips that will help you take good care of them so that they can last a long time.
1. You should not eat while wearing them
This is probably an obvious one because during the first few weeks of wearing them, you would not be too used to having your meals with them. Hence, you would usually remove them before eating to enjoy your food in comfort.
However, once you get the hang of using retainers, you might even be okay with having it in your mouth while you eat.
Even if you can enjoy your meals with them, try to make it a habit to take them out before helping yourself to your food because every bite exposes retainers to breakage or wire bending. However, if it is inconvenient to remove (for hygiene or social reasons), or if the orthodontist wants you to eat with them on, then you can do so. Some retainers are specially made with extended parts that work best when worn all day, even for meals; these retainers are only removed for teeth cleaning.
2. Keep your retainer case with you at all times
You never really know when you might need to take your retainers off. But when you do, it’s best to put them inside your retainer case for maximum protection.
No matter how convenient it might seem, don’t wrap your retainers in a piece of napkin or tissue paper because this doesn’t provide any protection. Moreover, you may risk accidentally throwing it in the trash bin, especially if it’s wrapped in tissue paper.
Remember, when your retainers aren’t inside your mouth, they should be inside your retainer case.
3. Keep them moist
In general, retainers should be kept moist because drying them out makes them more prone to damage and warpage.
When required, wear them to sleep and they would not dry out. But if the retainers are not required to be worn every night, you can choose to soak the retainers in a glass of water before hitting the hay. Just be sure to place the glass somewhere stable so that it wouldn’t tip over. Even if the retainers are not soaked in water but remain moist, they should be fine.
4. Clean them according to your dentist’s instructions
Your dentist might suggest a specific cleaning method for your retainers. Regardless, you should rinse and brush them regularly to remove plaque buildup and leftover food particles.
Just like fixed braces, you can use a regular toothbrush to clean them. All you have to do is take them out of your mouth and brush the surfaces from different angles with a stiff brush.
Remember to take extra precautions in brushing the metal wires so that you don’t bend or deform them. You can also soak them in water with a retainer cleaning tablet right after for added cleaning.
After a period of months wearing metal, ceramic or clear braces in Singapore, you probably have to wear retainers after removing the fixed braces so that your teeth wouldn’t shift back to their original position. To keep your smile in pristine condition, wear your retainers, and make your retainers last by taking good care of them.
If you are looking for a dental clinic that can offer the advice needed to maintain your retainers, you can count on BigSmile Dental. As a reliable provider of affordable dental treatment, braces or otherwise, we can help you achieve your dream of the ideal smile. Book an appointment with us for a consultation today.