Your new retainer helps to maintain the alignment of your teeth after your braces have been removed. Without it the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments could start to pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment. If your new retainer is damaged or you don’t wear it during the prescribed times it will likely increase the duration of time you need to wear it.
When you are not wearing your retainer, you should keep it in the case provided. Keep the case with you, in a backpack or pocket is a good habit. Try to avoid using a napkin or plastic bag as an improvised case. To refresh your retainer, you can soak it in a mixture of one-half antiseptic mouthwash and one-half cold water.
You can clean and refresh a Hawley-style retainer with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Clear plastic retainers might be damaged or dulled by brushing with an abrasive toothpaste. Instead you should rinse them thoroughly before soaking in a mixture of equal parts water and antiseptic mouthwash.
If you have a fixed retainer cemented in place behind your teeth you might want to look into interdental brushes or a floss threader to the area around the wire and between teeth from food particles and plaque.
If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your new retainer, or your retainer is damaged in some way, please call us at (928) 343-9559 for advice or to schedule an appointment.