Retainer: How to take care of it?

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Retainers: Why do we need them? The “retention” phase begins when braces are finally removed.  The objective of this phase is to ensure the teeth do not regress back to their previous position.  A retainer will be used in order to maintain the improved position of the teeth.  A retainer is a fixed or removable dental appliance which has been custom-made by the orthodontist to fit the teeth.  Retainers are generally made from transparent plastic and thin wires. This optimises the comfort of the patient. The benefits of retainers are many. They can even reduce the chance of gum damage.

You’ve worked hard for your beautiful smile through the orthodontics process. This is how we keep them beautiful!

Here are a few of the most common questions we hear on a regular basis:

How long will I need to wear my retainer?

The amount of time you will need to wear a retainer depends on your teeth. We typically recommend wearing a retainer 24/7 and taking it out only to eat and brush teeth for the first several months to a year. It may be the case that your dentist will give you the all-clear so that you can stop wearing them early, and only have them on at night. Nevertheless, make sure you have clear instructions on when to relax your wear of them. This depends on each individual case. It also depends on whether you have permanent or removable retainers.

How can I keep my retainer clean?

If you are wearing your retainer every night, you also need to rinse or brush it every morning. Saliva from your mouth will build up on your retainer, and this can lead to smells and stains. Using your normal toothbrush and toothpaste should suffice. However, if it begins to appear stained or you really want to get a good clean, you can buy ultrasonic cleaners and immersion tubs. People who wear dentures or retainers frequently use these. This helps achieve a greater level of clean than what you would experience by brushing alone. Nonetheless, brushing it like normal should be sufficient for most people. If you are experiencing build-up and have already tried cleaning it the normal way, it might be an indication that you need a hygiene visit.

My teeth hurt when I do not wear my retainer. Why?

Your teeth could be moving out of their position naturally or because of a tongue thrust. When you go to put your retainer back in, it may no longer fit appropriately, causing you pain and discomfort. While this can be natural, it could also be a sign of a problem. We recommend that you visit our Fairfield or Gregory Hills clinic for an examination. This will help determine if adjustments need to be made to the retainer.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions:

FAIRFIELD 02 9723 3366

 GREGORY HILLS 02 7200 7333

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