What Are Retainers?
A retainer is a removable prosthetic device that you wear after your braces have been removed. It’s a small appliance made from metal wires and acrylic or plastic that helps you maintain the new position of your smile.
Retainers can also be used for minor orthodontic issues that don’t require braces, and to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Types of Retainers
Depending on your needs, we offer three types of retainers at the Centre for Invisible Orthodontics:
This is the traditional model, a fitted plastic surface that’s connected to your teeth with a metal wire. We can bend the wires to fit around the teeth that need to be corrected.
Essix retainers are made from clear plastic to blend in with your smile, allowing you to feel discreet and confident.
Bonded retainers are fastened to the back of your teeth using dental adhesive. No one will be able to see your appliance, but keep in mind that bonded retainers aren’t removable.
Cleaning Your Retainer
You’ll need to keep your retainer moisturized at all times. When you’re not wearing it, soak your retainer in distilled water and brush it using a non-porous cleaning solution. Make sure the solution you choose is FDA-approved and able to clean between the small gaps in your retainer.
Common Retainer Problems
Some common issues that patients have with retainers are caused by the following actions:
- Letting it dry out
- Exposing it to boiling water
- Cleaning with non-distilled water
- Putting it in the dishwasher
- Using poor quality cleaning solutions
One of the most common problems with retainers is that they’re small and easy to lose. They can even break from being stepped on. Be careful with your retainer and keep track of it to avoid having to get a new one.
Meet With Dr. Grussmark to Learn More
If you’ve recently had your braces removed, or if you have a minor issue that doesn’t require braces, a retainer could be the ideal solution for you. To learn more about retainers, contact one of our three locations in the Miami area and schedule your free consultation with Dr. Grussmark.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s best to store your retainer in its carrying case to keep it safe, but soaking your retainer in water can help keep it clean. We recommend soaking your retainer once a week to keep it free of bacteria.
Make sure your carrying case and retainer are clean and dry to prevent the growth of bacteria. Storing your retainer while it’s still wet can lead to bacteria and put your oral health at risk.
You should clean your retainers multiple times a day to make sure they’re clear of food. You can do this by rinsing them off with lukewarm water and also brushing your teeth after you eat. Keeping your teeth clean helps to keep your retainers clean by preventing bacteria from transferring onto the retainer.
To clean your retainers, use mild dish soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the retainers. Toothpaste can be abrasive and scratch the retainers. You may also want to use a cotton swab to clean out any small areas the brush can’t reach.
Yes, not cleaning your retainer can have serious health consequences. Bacteria can build up on your retainer and make you more vulnerable to cavities as well as infections. These conditions can spread to your body and put you more at risk.
Oral bacteria can spread through your bloodstream to other parts of your body and lead to more serious health conditions. These include cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pneumonia.