On the day your braces are removed there is one more important step....retention. Your orthodontic retainers have been carefully designed to hold your teeth in their corrected position until they are stable. This retention phase will help maintain a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.
Wear your retainers as directed by your doctor.
You may salivate more when you first get them and your mouth might be sore. This will subside and your speech will return to normal after a few days of wearing your retainers.
Keep your retainers clean. It's very important to remove the plaque and bacteria that causes hardened white calculus to build up over time. There are many retainer cleaning products on the market so do your homework to find the right ones for your appliances. Your doctor may also have recommendations.
You may run into warnings that say not to use a toothbrush or toothpaste to clean your appliances. But if you are so inclined be sure to use a "soft" bristle brush and a "non abrasive" toothpaste. Gently brush on the tissue side of the retainer to loosen the invisible bacteria and plaque. Then rinse thoroughly with cool or warm water.
* This is especially important for the invisible Essix type retainers because the plastic scratches easily. Soaking these types of appliances in retainer cleaning products may be a better choice.
Avoid hot water, sunlight, and soaking them in mouth wash. The plastic may break down or warp.
Be careful not to “click” your retainers in and out with your tongue. This will weaken the wires and may cause them to break.
Call your Doctor if you lose, break or have concerns about the fit.
Rinse your mouth and retainer with water if you can’t brush after meals and don't forget to floss every day.
Make Good Habits!
Retainers are fragile and the safest place for them is in your mouth. When you need to remove your retainers store them in a retainer case. Hard plastic is the safest...and your doctor’s first choice. Soft cases will keep them clean and are much safer than wrapping them in a napkin or just setting them on the table. Choose retainer cases that fit your needs and put them in places where you will use them. Think about where you will be taking out your retainers, to eat, brush your teeth, play sports, eat in a car, etc. Put a retainer case in those locations permanently if possible. Put an attractive container on the dinner table so you will always have a nice place to hide your retainers while you eat. Your friends and family will appreciate your consideration.
Remember to “make good habits” and you will save time and money on costly repairs and remakes.