If you’ve recently completed a course of Invisalign or clear braces, congratulations! You’ve made a wise investment in your dental health and the appearance of your smile. But your journey to a straighter smile isn’t quite over yet. In many cases, you will need to wear a retainer to ensure that your teeth stay in their new positions.
Why Do You Need a Retainer After Invisalign or Clear Braces?
After completing your Invisalign or clear braces treatment, your teeth will be in their new positions, but they won’t be fully set in place yet. Without a retainer, your teeth may gradually drift back to their original positions over time, undoing all the progress you’ve made. By wearing a retainer, you’ll be able to maintain your beautiful, straight smile for years to come.
If your teeth shift again, it can cause several problems. First, you may have to endure another round of cosmetic treatments. This takes time and money, which is why a retainer is essential. Moreover, having a misaligned bite can increase your chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay. This is because crooked teeth make it difficult for you to remove plaque.
Cleaning Your Retainer for Better Oral Health
No matter what type of retainer you have, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Clean Your Retainer Properly
Brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. Additionally, you will need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste to clean your retainer thoroughly. Rinsing your retainer thoroughly with water will help remove any toothpaste or cleaning solution.
Consider Soaking Your Retainer
Another cleaning method you may want to adopt is soaking your retainer. Soaking your retainer in a cleaning solution will help to remove any buildup of bacteria or plaque. This step can help minimize the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth, reducing your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Also, ask your dentist or orthodontist for a recommendation on a good cleaning solution to use.
Avoid Hot Water
Don’t expose your retainer to hot water. Hot water can warp or damage some types of retainers. Therefore, you should only use cool or lukewarm water when cleaning your retainer.
Use A Retainer Case
Keep your retainer in its case when not in use. This will help to protect it from damage and prevent it from getting lost or accidentally thrown away.
Replace Your Retainer As Needed
Replace your retainer as recommended. Over time, your retainer may become worn or damaged, which can affect its effectiveness. Be sure to follow your dentist or orthodontist’s recommendations for when to replace your retainer.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
In addition, it is also important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist.