At Affiliated Orthodontics and around town in Peoria and Glendale AZ, one of the biggest day in the lives of orthodontic patients is when braces are removed or Invisalign treatment is completed. To a teenager, it’s almost as important as getting a drivers license.
Once your braces come off, patients are given retainers to maintain their beautiful new smile. There are many different types of retainers and Dr. Womack or Dr. Davis will determine which type of custom retainers will work best to maintain your new smile.
We can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of retainers. Here are some tips on how to keep your appliances out of harms way. We have heard all the horror stories over the years and very little surprises us anymore.
- Always place the retainer in the retainer case when not in your mouth. If placed in a pocket it can fall out and disappear, get stepped on, or end up in the wash and be destroyed. If it is out of your case in your backpack, gym bag, or on a locker shelf, you are asking for trouble. If you leave it lying around in the open on furniture, it is an accident waiting to happen in more ways than one.
- Do not wrap the retainer in a napkin while eating at home, school, or a friend’s house. There is a good chance it will end up in the garbage by mistake. It’s a nasty job sifting through garbage for a retainer, especially at school or in a restaurant! YUK…
- Do not clean the retainer with hot water or boil your retainer to kill germs. It will distort the retainer so it won’t fit and then you must replace it!
- Take them out when vomiting. Once you flush, they are gone!
- Take them out when swimming. More than one retainer has ended up lost in the bottom of a lake, public pool, or bouncing around in the ocean surf.
- And the one rule that seems to be most popular…KEEP RETAINERS… AWAY FROM PETS AND SMALL CHILDREN!
It is no secret that dogs chew on anything and everything…. including retainers. They are fair game for “Man’s Best Friend” both in and out of the case if left out in the open. If you have a dog, never leave your retainer on tables, bathroom counters, night stands, or any where they can jump up and snag the appliances. They will bend or eat them up in a few chews and thoroughly enjoy it without you even noticing. And if they swallow the sharp pieces of plastic or wire, it can cause serious health issues for your beloved pet!
Young children seem to be fascinated with them also. They may not chew on them like a pet, but they tend to pick them up out of curiosity, distort them, and drop them wherever they roam, making them hard to find.
One set of retainers is included with treatment. If you break or lose them due to your own loss or neglect, there is normally a replacement fee, so please be careful. Teeth move throughout life. It is part of the normal aging process. As your body shifts and changes with ages, so do your teeth. Long term retainer wear keeps your teeth looking great over the long haul.
If you have lost or damaged your retainer or retainers, contact our office to schedule an appointment to replace them. Maintaining your smile over a lifetime depends on it!
Tell us your best retainer story. Leave a comment below…