In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, remembering to properly care for a retainer or aligners can easily slip your mind. But forgetting to take care of these items has a number of negative consequences on the health of your smile. Without regular use and proper care, you put your orthodontic treatment at risk. Whether you’ve had braces removed or are starting orthodontic treatment, these tips will help you take care of your retainer or aligners. To schedule a consultation with an orthodontist, or for more information on orthodontic treatment types available, contact Studio32 Orthodontics today!
Brush Your Teeth
Proper care for aligners or a retainer starts with a clean mouth! Be sure to floss and brush at least twice a day to remove any plaque and bacteria from getting trapped under your retainer or aligners. For brushing, always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your teeth, as well as the inside of your cheeks, tongue, and roof of the mouth.
Wear Them Often
Retainers and aligners only work if you wear them often — wear them as frequently as your orthodontist recommends. As much as they may be inconvenient, wearing them is the best way to keep your smile looking perfect! While a retainer may need to be replaced over time due to natural wear and tear, aligner trays are generally switched out according to a specified schedule. If you have any questions about your unique treatment plan, call Studio32 Orthodontics!
Rinse & Clean Them Regularly
As with your teeth, your retainer or aligners need to be cleaned on a regular basis. For clear aligners, such as Invisalign, make sure to rinse them thoroughly under running water to remove any food particles and bacteria. To clean your retainer, have a toothbrush dedicated to your retainer. After each wear, rinse the retainer with cold water and gently scrub the retainer. Avoid using toothpaste to clean the retainer, as it may cause scratches. For more information on proper orthodontics care for your retainer or aligners, contact Studio32 Orthodontics today!
Don’t Eat Or Drink With Them
Orthodontic patients can drink water while wearing clear aligners or a retainer. However, drinking any other type of beverages or eating while wearing a retainer or clear aligners is not advised. Foods and colored drinks can stain aligners and leave an unpleasant smell. Similarly, eating while wearing a retainer can cause food particles to become lodged in hard-to-clean spaces causing an increase in bacteria as well as the development of cavities.
Store Them Properly
All too often, orthodontic patients lose their retainer or aligners due to putting them down in an easily forgotten place. Patients who place their retainer or aligners on napkins or plates at meal-time run the risk of having them thrown away. While eating, be sure to place the aligners or retainer in their appropriate container to avoid losing them. Appropriate storage is also important to keep the aligners or retainer from drying out, becoming crushed, or accumulating bacteria.
Get Them Replaced
Maintaining a healthy smile after adult braces come off is a life-long journey. So what do you do when your aligners or retainer go missing? While lost or broken retainer or aligner trays may seem like an emergency, this happens more often than you’d think! In the case of damaged aligners or lost aligners, contact Studio32 Orthodontics. Gainesville orthodontist Dr. Mullally will begin making a new retainer or aligner to avoid any disruptions to your treatment plan!