Getting your braces off is exciting! You can finally show off the smile of your dreams and eat the foods you love. But a lot of work goes into maintaining this smile for years to come. That starts with wearing and caring for your retainer.

A retainer helps keep your teeth aligned while your bone tissue rebuilds. It takes a while for teeth to get used to their new position and, as you age, your teeth may shift again. Retainers are worn more frequently during the first few months after your treatment. Then, they can be worn during the night while you sleep.

If you’re not wearing your retainer, all of the years you spent wearing braces or Invisalign will be for nothing, as your teeth will shift back to their original position. Caring for your retainer is the best way to keep it in tiptop shape so that it effectively does its job.

Keeping It Clean

If you don’t regularly clean your retainer, bacteria can grow. To prevent this bacteria and mold from getting into your mouth and causing decay, it’s important to clean your retainer daily.

  • Brush your retainer daily with toothpaste and water. This will help prevent tartar.
  • Soak your retainer in water with baking soda, vinegar, or denture tablets for a deep clean.
  • DON’T use mouthwash or anything alcohol-based. It will damage the retainer and could cause injury to your mouth.
  • Make sure your retainer case has proper airflow, which prevents bacteria and mold.
  • Remove your retainer while eating to prevent food particles from getting trapped.
  • If you wear a clear, plastic retainer, don’t drink anything other than water while you wear it. Teas, coffees, and sodas can stain the retainer…and your teeth.

Keeping It Safe

Damaging or losing your retainer means another visit to our office or another impression. Even a few weeks without your retainer may result in the movement of your teeth.

  • If you’re carrying your retainer with you throughout the day, keep it in its case. Storing it in a backpack, purse, or pocket can cause damage.
  • Don’t wrap it in a napkin while you’re eating. It could end up in the garbage!
  • Avoid keeping it in hot cars or near hot appliances. Whether you have a metal or plastic retainer, it can warp. NEVER boil your retainer in hot water when you are cleaning it.
  • Keep your retainer away from pets, which may use it as their next chew toy!

Keep Your Smile Sparkling!

Wearing and caring for your retainer is the first step to maintaining a healthy smile. Remember that at Exeter Smiles, retainers are included in the low cost of $3,995. You’ll never pay more for retainers or adjustments (or even replacements).

To learn more about braces, Invisalign, and retainers, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with our team of orthodontists in Allentown, Easton, Lansdale, Reading, Blandon, or Exton. If you want to give your smile a spark orthodontics in Reading, Easton, and beyond can help!