Are You Cleaning Your Retainers Properly?

Are You Cleaning Your Retainers Properly?

Committing to orthodontic treatment is something that most people consider carefully. They want bite issues, tooth crowding, or other smile problems corrected, and treatment can allow them to realize those goals and end up with an enviable smile as treatment concludes.

It’s important to remember though, that orthodontic treatment doesn’t just consist of the time you’re wearing either your braces or your Invisalign trays. It’s critical to wear your retainer — the device that preserves the excellent results of your orthodontic treatment — after treatment ends.

Just like your braces or Invisalign aligners, your retainer must be properly cared for, but don’t worry, this is something you can easily incorporate into your daily routines. 

Dr. Wayne Hickory and his able team are with you throughout your entire orthodontic journey, from that initial consultation through creating and executing your unique treatment plan, and finally, for your aftercare. Our top priorities are your comfort and satisfaction, no matter what phase of treatment you’re experiencing. 

Why are retainers important components of my orthodontic treatment?

Your retainer is the tool that will ensure that your orthodontic treatment wasn’t for nothing. If you don’t wear it, your teeth inevitably shift back to their old positions and the way they looked prior to getting treatment, and that’s the last thing you want. 

We know that you allotted time, effort, and money to receive your orthodontic care, and we’re all in to safeguard your beautiful smile so you can enjoy it for the rest of your life. 

What’s the proper way to clean my retainer?

WIth braces, you were careful about what you ate and cleaned your braces and teeth carefully, and if you wore aligners, you cleaned your trays appropriately. We predict that you’ll easily embrace caring for your retainer so your smile can remain dazzling. 

Which type of retainer do you have?

It’s important to note that there are two types of retainers, those that are permanently placed and ones that you can remove when you’re awake, during the day. 

Because of its important job, you want your retainer to stay in tip-top shape. If it’s fixed, you want to make sure it’s clean because it’s part of your permanent oral architecture, and attached to the backs of some of your teeth. If your retainer is removable, you’ll clean it a bit differently.

Cleaning tips based on your retainer

You only need a special tool that we provide to clean your permanent retainer. It enables you to get in the tight space between the underside of the retainer wires and your teeth and floss properly. 

For our patients who wear removable retainers, we favor the Vivera transparent retainer. It resembles an Invisalign aligner, fits your teeth precisely, and Dr. Hickory advises you about exactly how long and when you should wear it. Typically, you wear this retainer continuously for the first nine months you have it, but then you transition to wearing it only at night while you sleep. 

With your Vivera removable retainer, you need only do a few things to care for it appropriately to discourage premature wear:

If you neglect cleaning and caring for your retainer sufficiently, you shorten its lifespan, as it will warp and get worn more quickly. Using the right temperature of water to rinse it is also important, since hot water causes warping. 

Retainer care doesn’t have to be complicated

Caring for and cleaning your retainer shouldn’t feel too inconvenient or burdensome. In addition to cleaning it, be sure to keep it in its case when you’re not wearing it, so you don’t inadvertently dispose of it or damage it. Even with proper cleaning, you must replace your retainer periodically. We can help you with that, too.

Call us at 202-342-9600 and schedule a consultation to learn more about the importance of retainers in your treatment continuum, or arrange one through the Embassy Row Orthodontics website

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