Once you complete orthodontic treatment you will be required to wear a retainer to maintain your new straight smile. This step is very important and should be seen as the final stage of treatment. If you don’t wear a retainer you risk your teeth becoming crooked again.
Types of retainers
There are two main types of retainers:
- Clear retainers are removable and fit over your teeth, much like an Invisalign aligner
- Fixed or permanent retainers are fitted behind the teeth
Caring for your retainers
Just like your teeth, it’s important to take care of your retainer which means cleaning it thoroughly. There are many ways to clean a plastic retainer:
- With a vinegar solution (soak for 5 minutes, then wash off with water and a toothbrush)
- With denture cleaner (follow instructions on product)
- With baking soda and water (form a paste and then scrub your retainer, rinse with water)
- With an anti-bacterial mouthwash (soak for 5 minutes, then wash off with water and a toothbrush)
- You can clean permanent retainers the same way you’d clean your teeth. Brush behind the teeth gently to keep your fixed retainer clean.
If you’ve lost your retainer it’s imperative you get it replaced promptly.