When your long journey through orthodontics starts coming closer to an end, your excitement is most likely growing as you think about no longer having any foreign devices in your mouth. However, this is also the time you need to start thinking about how you will preserve your beautiful new smile for years after your orthodontic treatment has ended.

Once the braces and headgear are finally packed away, it is time to transition to wearing retainers! Retainers are small plastic or wire devices that are created from a mold of your top and bottom teeth and are used to hold your teeth in position as bone tissue regrows around them. Your bone tissue takes a while to grow fully back again, so it is important to regularly wear and maintain your retainer.

Steps to Maintaining Your Retainer

  1. This first thing to do with a retainer is to have a case – and use it. Typically, your orthodontist will give you a case when they hand you your retainer. Cases protect your retainer from dirt and grim and provide a “home” for your retainers so you do not throw them out on accident (which we find happens often with many of our patients.) Additionally, removing your retainer before you eat ensures that you do not trap food and plaque in your mouth.
  2. Secondly, make sure to keep your retainer clean by constantly brushing them with toothpaste every time you put them in and take them out. Brushing a retainer helps remove any tartar that builds along the surface over time. An alternative method to cleaning your retainers would be to soak them in a glass of water that is mixed with baking soda. Baking soda is an all-purpose disinfectant that can help whiten retainers, control bacteria, and maintain a healthy pH in the mouth.
  3. Lastly, take pride in your retainer and smile. A lot of time, energy, and money has gone into your new smile and now you are completely in control of your orthodontic health. Take the time to add retainer maintenance to your oral routine everyday and you will be on your way to a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

If you have any further questions or concerns about wearing a retainer after you have completed your orthodontic treatment, call our front office at 704-671-4051 to speak to one of our orthodontic experts at Gaston Orthodontics! You may also schedule an appointment online HERE if you are in need of a new retainer or mouth molding.