You have been diligent with your braces for nearly two years, and it is finally time to take them off. It is an exciting time for all brace wearers. But if your orthodontist has prescribed retainers, you are not yet out of the woods.
Just like braces, retainers also come with a set of dos and don’ts, and maintaining them may seem tedious at first, but having patience through this step of your treatment is key to preserving that lovely new smile. A well-maintained appliance will do its job well. Read on to find out how you can keep your retainers clean and free of mold.
- Rinse your retainers with lukewarm water after each use.
- Brush your retainers with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste at least once a day.
- Soak your retainers in a denture-cleaning solution or a mixture of water and white vinegar at least once a week.
- Avoid exposing your retainers to hot water or leaving them in direct sunlight, as this can cause them to warp.
- If your retainers develop a strong odor or visible buildup, soak them in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide for a few hours before brushing.
- Use a retainer case to store your retainers when you’re not wearing them.
- Replace your retainers every few years, or as directed by your orthodontist.
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!