We understand that you may be reluctant to wear another appliance after orthodontic treatment. (We promise we’re not trying to torture you!) But wearing your retainer will help you maintain the progress you’ve made. Otherwise, your teeth and jaws will start to drift back to their original positions.
As such, it’s important that you wear your retainer at all times unless Dr. Siara-Olds says something different. You’ll also need to bring your retainer with you to your appointments.
Here’s what else you should know about caring for your retainer.
WHERE SHOULD I STORE MY RETAINER?
The safest place for your retainer is in the case we give you. (Dogs love to chew on retainers!) If you’ve lost your case, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office and we’d be more than happy to provide a replacement.
When you take out your retainer to eat, always place your retainer in its case. If you place your retainer inside a napkin, you may forget it’s there and throw it away by accident. Likewise, don’t place your retainer in your pocket or it may break.
Your retainer may also warp out of shape if it’s exposed to high temperatures. For this reason, you’ll need to keep it away from hot water, hot car dashboards, and the washing machine.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY RETAINER?
once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm, not hot water. Brushing your retainer removes the plaque and eliminates odors. You may also use Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners. But a cleaner is not a replacement for brushing.
WILL WEARING A RETAINER AFFECT MY SPEECH?
You may find it difficult to speak at first without gagging. But you’ll get used to your retainer faster if you practice speaking out loud. For example, it may help to read out loud from your favorite book or to sing to yourself. The practice will help you retrain your lips, cheeks, and tongue to speak around your new retainer.
CAN I WEAR MY RETAINER WHILE SWIMMING IN A POOL?
No, you should never go swimming in a pool while wearing a. This is because the chlorine will damage the plastic materials in your retainer. Even if you don’t have a metal retainer, it’s still a good practice to take out your appliance before you hang out in the pool.
WHAT IF I LOSE OR BREAK MY RETAINER?
Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately. While replacing a retainer is expensive, your appliance will last for years if you give it the proper care.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do NOT try to adjust it yourself.
REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT WITH DR. SIARA-OLDS
Dr. Siara-Olds is a board-certified orthodontist in Milford, MI. She treats patients of all ages, whether they’re 7 or 70, and would be more than happy to help you achieve your dream smile.