Congratulations! Finally you have your braces removed and you are now ready to show the world your nice set of teeth and a perfectly chiseled jaw. Don’t get too excited yet because there’s still one last final touch to that winsome smile of yours.
As soon as your braces have been removed, your orthodontist will require you to wear retainers. As the name suggests, it will “retain” your teeth to their new positions. Just like your braces, your retainers also require the proper care it needs.
Let us show you how to maintain and clean your retainers properly in five easy ways:
- Regular cleaning is a must. It has to be cleaned every night. Let us suppose you wear them 24/7. Cleaning becomes even more demanding because you will be advised to rinse them with warm water every time you take it off and place them back to your mouth. This is done to prevent bacteria build up.
- There are retainers that do not actually require brushing to be cleaned. However, for those that can be cleaned in such a way, simply brush it with a little toothpaste. Never attempt to clean a retainer which does not require brushing as it may get scratched.
- A denture cleaner is also an effective retainer cleaning agent. You can also use these to keep your retainers clean and germ-free all the time. However, there are specialized products that are now readily available in the market used specifically for cleaning the retainers. Should you opt to have these, cleaning your retainer with a toothbrush will no longer be necessary.
- If your retainer has a lingering odor, soaking it overnight in a mouthwash will surely do the trick. Ideally, a retainer used round the clock must also be soaked in a dental cleaner for at least fifteen minutes every day.
- Sometimes, plaque may build up in the retainer. When this happens, professional help must be sought. You can have your retainers cleaned by your orthodontist to remove all the plaques. If the same is no longer possible, then a replacement will be required of you.
What Kind of Orthodontic Retainer is Most Comfortable?
Have you ever experienced difficulty in choosing the best out of the many choices presented before you? Well, there’s always that predicament, even in your choice of clothes, foods, movies and even orthodontic retainers.
Just as the need for orthodontic retainers have increased over the years, different kinds of retainers have been innovated, introduced and improved. Of course, instinct will tell you to choose the best and the most comfortable. Which brings us to the question: which one?
Removable Hawley-Type Retainers
If you underwent expansion, then this type is the most comfortable for you. They are removable that is made of hard plastic. It covers the tongue side of the teeth in combination with another wire in the front teeth which works to keep the teeth in place. This type of retainer is very durable too.
Removable Vacuform Retainers
If you do not want to be seen with your retainers on, then this is the perfect one for you. These kinds of retainers are invisible because they are made of colorless plastic that cover all teeth. This vacuum like retainer operates to suck the plastic onto the teeth’s mold.
Removable and ideal especially in holding spaces closed, this kind is also a better cosmetic retainer option. However, this retainer type requires to be replaced from time to time because it has the tendency to deteriorate faster than other kinds.
Fixed / Permanent Retainers
People who have their incisors treated can seek relief form this kind of retainer. Less bulky compared to other retainers, they are ideal for maintaining the position of incisors after treatment has been completed.
Fixed or permanent retainers are specially customized wires. They are mounted at the back of the front teeth. Although cleaning and flossing for this kind of retainer can be very difficult, orthodontists find this advantageous for the wearer. It will not get lost or damaged. More importantly, the retainer is able to perform the purpose for which it was placed.
Comfort is not something that is objective especially when it comes to wearing orthodontic retainers. Instead, it is how a particular kind fits snugly in your teeth and how you feel wearing it.