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How to protect your orthodontic retainers

At Blue Wave Orthodontics, your retainers are included in your treatment price. Orthodontic retainers, as the name implies, retain the teeth in their new healthy position after both braces and Invisalign treatment.

Immediately after treatment, patients may be advised to wear their retainers full-time for the first six months (except for meals and brushing). After this, they should be worn for nights only! 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 after braces or Invisalign

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 retainers in denture cleaner, because cleaning so over time will cause the retainer to be stained yellow. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth. For more tips on cleaning your retainer, check out our blog here!


Lost or damaged retainers

How do I store my retainers when I’m not wearing them? A great question! Our team will always provide you with a retainer case with your retainers. Although, it’s a good idea to keep your old Invisalign case as a backup. And remember, when not being worn, you should store your retainers in your case and keep your 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 is also a recipe for disaster.

Heat and dryness are also damaging to retainers. Be careful to not put your retainers 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.

Still have questions about proper retainer wear and care?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!
If you or your child is in need of orthodontic treatment, and you’re wondering how to find a great orthodontist in East Bradenton or Tampa Bay, we encourage you to contact us. We can treat the most complex cases!

Our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way. Request your complimentary exam with us and we’ll take care of the rest.

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