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woman holds retainer

Top Tips for Taking Better Care of Your Retainer (Don’t Lose it!)

added on: May 16, 2022

How long did it take for you to get the straight, healthy smile you’ve always wanted from your Lancaster orthodontist? Remember back to all of the waiting, avoiding certain foods, and adjustments? Now that you’ve completed treatment, it’s more important than ever to have your retainer in good shape and available to wear as per your custom care instructions. Now, you’re ready to face the world with a more balanced and confident smile that might require a retainer to keep things straight.

What is a Retainer?

The American Association of Orthodontists says you can blame genetics on your crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. They also suggest that if you choose not to wear your retainer after braces or clear aligner therapy, you risk having your teeth revert back to their previous positioning. This is sometimes referred to as an orthodontic relapse and sometimes can require more aggressive or extensive treatment to fix any issues. Your retainer is an orthodontic appliance your dentist in Lancaster can completely customize and craft using special plastic and metal materials to fit perfectly on top of your teeth.

Here are four ways you can help ensure your retainer remains effective and not lost in the trash bin:

1) Wear As Directed

Some patients are asked to wear their retainers all the time, while others wear them for a few hours during the day or overnight. Always be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. We’re not trying to torture you or make you uncomfortable; there are usually some pretty good reasons why we give you specific instructions. Any questions? Just ask!

2) A Storage Story

Napkins and tissues are the kiss of death for retainers, as they usually end up in the bottom of the trash bin. If it’s not on your face, keep your retainer in its case.

3) Cleanliness is Awesomeness

You brush your teeth every day, so don’t forget to add some retainer maintenance to your daily routine. If you clean it everyday or every other day, your retainer will be free of bacteria-causing buildup. Use a toothbrush, toothpaste, or even a tiny amount of mouthwash or soap. Rinse well and be retainer ready!

4) Checkup, Anyone?

We love seeing our patients and their smiles…after all, we worked together for so long to make them perfect. Don’t forget to schedule and maintain your regular retainer checks so we can make sure it’s working correctly or make adjustments. If your device isn’t properly aligned, too tight, coming loose, or even broken, it could be working against your smile. Come and see us! We might even say you don’t need your retainer anymore. 

Are you ready to learn more about orthodontics in Lancaster? We have three convenient locations to help accommodate your needs and exceed your expectations. Call us at (717) 481-7645 to schedule a hassle-free consultation where we can discuss your options and help you move forward with the treatment you want for a straighter, healthier smile.