Using a Retainer

Use and Care of Your Retainer

Now that your braces are off, it’s time to enjoy your new and improved smile. Your teeth took some time to move into the right position, but if you don’t wear your retainer properly and diligently, your hard work could all slip away – literally. To keep your teeth in their new position, it’s important to wear your retainer regularly. Here are some suggestions on using and caring for your retainer:

  • Wear your retainer every night to prevent shifting of your teeth. If your Sacramento dentist advises you to wear it more frequently, stick to the schedule to keep your teeth from shifting position.
  • Bring your retainer with you to your dental check-ups for cleaning and evaluation.
  • Most retainers last from 2-10 years, depending on your dental habits. For instance, for patients who grind their teeth, retainers wear out quickly. Signs of wear include cracking and loss of stiffness. Replacement is key to keeping your smile straight and aligned.
  • Clean your retainer with hydrogen peroxide, over-the-counter denture cleaner tablets or with plain soap and water. Avoid using toothpaste to clean your retainer — it’s usually too abrasive.
  • Keep your retainer away from heat sources (such as the inside of a hot car) and chemical solvents (like bathroom cleaners).
  • Pets are another enemy of your retainer, so keep it away from your dog, cat or other animals (including siblings).
  • Retain your retainer! When not in use, store your retainer in the container you were provided. This will ensure it stays clean, protected and reduces the chance of losing it.

By using your retainer as directed by your dentist, your beautiful smile should last throughout your future. Protect your investment of time and effort — wear and care for your retainer!
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