So, you’ve finally said goodbye to braces. Congratulations, you made it! Your smile is radiant and you’re flashing your pearly whites at any person, place, or thing that glances your way! However, before you can truly celebrate your wonderful new smile, you must make sure to wear your retainers to keep your teeth looking perfect.
Protect Your Retainers When out of Your Mouth
“Using your retainer” means much more than having it close by when you go to sleep or wearing it the number of hours prescribed by your orthodontist. It means you must protect it also when out of your mouth! Once you leave the office the entire world has it’s eye on your retainers.
- The family’s four legged companion might decide to use it as a chew toy
- The garbage would love to grab hold of your retainer in the napkin you threw away after eating
- A younger sibling or child might decide to use it as a frisbee or worse… try to see if it fits in their own mouth
- The couch could enjoy having yet another priceless item lost to it’s comfy creases
- Pockets love to spit them out when not protected in their case
At the orthodontic practice of Richard E. Boyd DMD MS we can’t stress enough the importance of protecting your retainers. Here are some tried and true tips to help keep your appliances safe. We have heard all the horror stories and very little surprises our team anymore. The safest place for retainers is where they’re designed to go; the mouth.
- When you received your retainer, it came with a case. This is it’s second home when it isn’t in your mouth. You wouldn’t want your retainer to be homeless, would you? The case acts as a protective shell that prevents damage as well as dirt and germs from hitching a ride into your mouth. Also, since the cases are brightly colored, it will make it much harder to lose.
- Do not wrap your retainer in a napkin while eating… EVER. It’s much to easy to glance at a crumpled napkin and toss it in the trash by mistake. Ever sift through the garbage at school after lunch with a few hundred students?
- When cleaning your retainer, remember it’s made of plastic. Boiling your retainers to sterilize can distort plastic and requires replacement.
- Remove retainers when swimming. More than one retainer has ended up lost in the ocean, bottom of a lake, or drowned in a public pool.
- Don’t leave unprotected retainers on counters, couches, end tables, or in cars where they are “easy pickings” for pets and small children.
Why Wear Retainers?
By now you’re probably wondering why a retainer is needed if it’s such a hassle to protect? You’re given retainers to maintain your smile in its final position. Braces are used to move your teeth along a predetermined path with the wire. When finished, a retainer is needed to make sure your teeth don’t stray off the path. If you have lost or damaged your retainer or retainers, contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment to replace them. Maintaining your smile for a lifetime depends on it!