Completing orthodontic treatment, like braces or Invisalign, with your dentist near Uptown is exciting and has you rocking your smile with confidence. However, even though you are no longer cleaning your braces or Invisalign trays, you now have retainers to take care of. Whether they are fixed or removable, retainers need to be worn and cleaned because once you stop wearing your retainer, you may notice a shift in your teeth, causing them to go back to the placement that they were in before your orthodontic treatment.
There are a few different types of retainers: removable, permanent (or bonded), and clear plastic retainers. While they have the same purpose of keeping your teeth straight, they are taken care of in different ways. If you follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how to wear your retainer, your teeth should stay in place. Learn more about the different types of retainers by visiting your dentist near Uptown.
- Removable Retainers
Removable retainers are easy and convenient. They can be removed when it comes to eating, brushing, and flossing, allowing you to remove maximum bacteria from both your mouth and retainer. Most commonly, you should wear your retainer seven days a week for one year after your braces are removed or your Invisalign treatment is completed.
- Bonded Retainers
Bonded retainers are known to last for many years, and even decades, if they are properly maintained. You don’t have to worry about when to wear this retainer because it is permanently fixed to the inner bite of your teeth. It’s important to learn from the dental hygienist how to clean this type of retainer as flossing and brushing may become more difficult.
- Clear Plastic Retainers
The clear plastic retainers hold the teeth in the exact position they were moved to while protecting your teeth against wear and tear from grinding. They are less expensive to replace than the other retainer types and the clear design allows you to wear them full time without many people noticing.
Cleaning Your Retainers
It’s important to keep your retainer clean and free of harmful bacteria buildup. Your dentist near Uptown will tell you that retainer maintenance is just as important as wearing them as directed. You can clean your removable retainer and clear plastic retainer by soaking them in a cup of water with denture cleaning tablets. Brush your retainer with lukewarm water after each meal and before bed, but avoid using toothpaste because they are abrasive and can scratch the retainer’s surface. Use a soft—and sometimes separate from your every day—toothbrush to gently scrub away the plaque.