Your retainer will retain the new, correct positions of your teeth, hence the name. When you see how good your smile looks after your orthodontic treatment, we guarantee you’ll be happy to pop in your retainer.
How to Wear Your Retainer
Once those braces come off or you bid farewell to your final Invisalign aligner, Dr. Kwong will create a custom retainer just for you. He’ll tell you exactly how to use it and for how long.
The duration of wear will vary by person but you’ll typically start by wearing it full time before tapering off. Just like braces, you’ll get used to your retainer fairly quickly.
However, you may notice you speak a little funny at first. If this is the case, practice talking, reading or even singing out loud to adjust faster. If you lose your retainer or it breaks, call us right away. We’ll make you a new one before your teeth move back into their old, pre-treatment positions.
Caring for Your Retainer
Retainers are pretty low maintenance but there are a few key things you’ll need to do to keep them safe and fresh. They’re an investment and Mom and Dad won’t be happy if they need to be replaced. However, if you take good care of them, they’ll last for years. Adopt these positive retainer care habits:
- Remove your retainer when eating and ALWAYS put it in its case when you’re not wearing it. Never temporarily store it in a napkin (napkins are a retainer’s worst enemy), as most retainers are lost when accidentally tossed out in the lunchroom or at a restaurant. Pets love to chew on retainers too, so befriend that case.
- Clean your retainer thoroughly once a day with a clean toothbrush. Brushing retainers will remove plaque and eliminate odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but they don’t take the place of good old-fashioned brushing.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care and remember to contact us immediately if it breaks or is lost.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Take out retainers when swimming and during sports.
- Never try to adjust your retainer yourself. Call us if it needs adjusting or you have questions or concerns.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and the aforementioned evil napkins.
Find out how we can help you smile with confidence by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Kwong.