Retainers can be fixed onto the teeth or be removable. There are various types of retainers that may be suggested for patients when they are ready to move on from braces.

Book a Free Consultation

Schedule a free new patient orthodontic consultation at our Rockville office or Potomac office (in Cabin John Mall).

invisalign aligner

What’s an Orthodontic Retainer?

They are custom-made orthodontic appliances that are designed to hold the teeth in their new positions after orthodontic treatment. It takes time for a mouth to ‘learn’ the new positioning of their teeth once braces are removed. While some minor changes to the bite and tooth alignment post-treatment are normal, wearing a retainer for as long as your orthodontist recommends is the best way to ensure their teeth stay healthy and straight for years to come.

Taking Care of Your Retainer

Keep it Safe

When the retainer is not being worn, it should always be kept safe in its container so it won’t be damaged or lost. Wrapping it in a napkin or tissue isn’t a good idea as it’s more likely to get lost or accidentally thrown away.

Clean it Regularly

Retainers are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque as the rest of your mouth. Like teeth, they need to be cleaned (or at least rinsed) after every meal. Ensure your child cleans their retainer as they would their teeth, with a gentle brush. Retainers can also be soaked with a cleanser tablet or mouthwash to keep them fresh and germ-free – ask your orthodontist for a recommendation as to which brands are best to use.

Protect it From Damage

Retainers are mostly plastic, and the two most common ways they can be damaged are from heat and from physical abuse. Retainers shouldn’t be placed in hot water, the dishwasher, washing machine, direct sunlight or near a heat source – they’ll easily warp. Caring for a retainer properly will ensure it lasts the distance!

Know When to Remove Your Retainer

Retainers should always be removed before eating and toothbrushing as well as when swimming or playing sports.

Schedule Regular Retainer Check-ups

Although it can be tempting to neglect this final step, it’s important to understand the importance of wearing a retainer once braces are removed. Wearing a retainer and caring for it properly will help ensure you keep your beautiful new smile for the rest of your life!

And if the retainer starts to lose shape or isn’t fitting correctly, call us immediately.

Orthodontic Treatment for All Ages

Orthodontic Treatment for All Ages