• Happy Smiles, Happy Mouths: The Importance of a Clean Retainer

  • retainer Tampa orthodontist

    Once your braces are removed, most often our Tampa orthodontist will then fit you with a retainer.  This retainer is used to keep your teeth in place while your bone structure continues to become accustomed to its new position.  So, how do you care for your retainer, and why does it matter?  As an orthodontist Tampa patients trust for the braces and great smiles, we know a thing or two about retainers.  Today we’ll take a look at common questions regarding retainers and discuss their importance in your ongoing oral treatment plan.

    How Should I Clean my Retainer?

    A clean retainer encompasses not only how you clean it, but where you store it, as well, when it’s not in use.  Plaque can build up on your retainer just as it does on teeth.  Regular, daily cleanings remove the plaque eliminating unwanted bacteria in your mouth.  Wash your retainer at least twice each day when you are brushing your teeth.  Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.  Our Tampa orthodontist and staff can provide you with recommendations so that you can be sure you’re using the right cleaning tools.  Gently brush the retainer in small, circular motions as you do your teeth.  When finished, rinse the brush and retainer off with water.  At this point, reinsert the retainer into your mouth or properly store it in your case.

    How Should I Store my Retainer?

    The only place you should store your retainer is in the plastic case provided to you by our Tampa orthodontist office.  The case is sturdy so that your retainer isn’t crushed at the bottom of a bag.  Additionally, the storage case keeps your retainer clean.  When patients set their retainer on a lunch tray, a table, or even put it in a pocket, they are risking their oral health by introducing potential viruses and bacteria that exist on those surfaces.  Eliminate the health risk by always using your case and by keeping your case clean, as well.

    Why do I have to wear a Retainer?

    Retainers prevent teeth from moving.  As we age, our bodies change, grow, and shift.  Our teeth are the same.  Teeth continue to move overtime.  For Tampa orthodontist patients who have just completed their braces treatment, a retainer keeps your teeth in position so the bone structure has time to adjust to its new position.  Follow the treatment plan set forth by our team and wear your retainer as instructed so as not to undo the work your braces accomplished to improve your smile.

    When you properly care for your teeth with regular brushing and flossing, and care for and wear your retainer as instructed, you can be sure you’ll have a happy mouth and a happy smile.  Check out our Facebook page for more tips on keeping your smile great and give us a call should any questions arise regarding your orthodontia treatment.