After you’ve served your time in metal or invisible braces, you’re not fully off the hook. You still need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from back to their original shape. Whether you have a permanent retainer in your mouth or a removable tray to wear, you need to maintain your retainer so you don’t store bacteria in your mouth. Here are some retainer maintenance tips you can use to keep your straight smile as clean as it can be.
Maintenance Tips For Removable Retainers
If you have a set of removable retainers, you will need to make sure that you rinse the trays out after you wear them. You may also scrub them gently with a soft bristled toothbrush, but you must be careful not to scratch the surface of the retainer. If you use a Waterpik to clean out your teeth, you could use the high pressure jet to clean out the debris in the retainer. You can reduce the amount of debris that goes into the retainer by cleaning your teeth thoroughly before putting your retainer on.
You can use the same tips above for metal removable retainers as well. When storing either option, make sure you use a plastic storage container that you can easily find. You may throw away your retainer if you just wrap it in a paper towel. Clean the retainer before it goes into the case so you do not have to clean the case as often. Store the case in a temperature controlled area so the plastic or metal is not subject to heat warping.
Maintenance Tips For Permanent Retainers
If you have a permanent wire retainer in your mouth, you will need to invest in threaded floss. You may already have some from your braces wearing days. The threaded floss can easily slide underneath the wire so you can effectively floss your teeth and floss around the glue that holds the retainer in place. Brush the back of your teeth well, but try not to be too aggressive about this. You might end up breaking off the glue if you brush too hard.
Make sure you come in for professional teeth cleaning twice a year to get rid of plaque buildup around your permanent retainer. If you can do that and follow the other tips listed above, you should be good to go.