How to Protect Your Orthodontic Retainers

At Blue Wave Orthodontics, we are happy to provide dental retainers for each patient after their Orthodontic treatment is complete. Retainers, as the name implies, retain the teeth in their new corrected position after both traditional braces and Invisalign treatment.

Immediately after treatment, patients may be advised to wear their retainer(s) full-time for the first six months, except for meals and brushing. After this, they should be worn after dinner and overnight!  Proper retainer care and use are imperative for keeping your brand “new smile” as nice as the day the braces or Invisalign came off. 

Caring for Your Retainer

Whenever you brush your teeth you should brush your retainer, especially before bed. We recommend using a separate toothbrush for your retainer. Essix retainers and the metal Hawley style retainers are to be cleaned often with antibacterial soap and NOT with toothpaste. Toothpaste is for your teeth, not plastic retainers. Beware of soaking your retainer(s) in denture cleaner, because cleaning so over time will cause the retainer to be stained a yellow color. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth. 

Lost or Damaged Retainers

When not being worn, you should store your retainer in your retainer case, we have many cases and are ALWAYS happy to provide a new retainer case WITHOUT CHARGE! Please always keep your retainer case in a safe and secure place. Wrapping it in a napkin could lead to throwing it out or leaving it behind, and leaving it in the reach of small children or your pet are also a recipe for disaster.

Heat and dryness are also damaging to retainers. Be careful to not put your retainer in hot water, the dishwasher, a washing machine, direct sunlight or near a heat source – it can easily warp. DO NOT ever microwave your retainer! The plastic can crack if it gets too dry. To keep it from cracking, soak your retainer when it isn’t in your mouth. Another tip: If you wear Hawley retainers don’t bend the wires or your retainer will not fit properly. Flipping the retainer around in your mouth will cause the wires to bend.

Dr. Joseph Jackson advises, “Should you lose or damage your retainer, please contact us about a prompt replacement. Remember, you should continue to wear the retainers as long as you want straight teeth!”

Retainers for Life

We’re excited to announce our new Retainers for Life program! Retainers for Life ensures you have properly fitting retainers without EVER having to pay full price again. Retainers need to be replaced every 1-3 years due to normal wear and tear, plus the program replaces them if they are lost. Learn more about Retainers for Life here.