Braces are quite inconvenient. After months of wearing those fixed braces, you’ve finally reached the stage where your teeth are free and your smile is restored, except now the doctor orders you to wear retainers. Retainers are much easier to wear for someone who has already gone through the ordeal of wearing braces, but these are removable devices that require regular care.
You will get one of the following two types of retainers:
Hawley Retainers -- Hawley retainer is a simple device that consists of a plastic base connected to a wire that fits against your teeth and holds them in place. You can now buy Hawley retainers online.
Essix Retainers – These are similar to teeth whitening trays, and are usually preferred because they are transparent and not easily noticeable over your teeth. They are, however, not as durable as Hawley retainers. You can also find affordable Essix retainers online and get the best bang for your buck.
Below are some maintenance tips for teeth retainers that will help you improve their longevity and get optimum results:
Wear as advised: Some patients keep their retainers on all through the day, while others rarely put them on. For effective use, strictly follow your doctor’s instructions and wear your retainers regularly, as advised.
- Remove before you eat: Always be careful to remove your retainers before eating and carefully place them in the provided containers. People often remove their retainers during meals and cover them in a tissue, from where they frequently land in the dustbin. It is best to keep your retainer soaked in water when it is not being used.
- Remove while brushing: Never try to brush your teeth while you are still wearing the retainer. The brushing will not be effective and you might hurt your oral tissues. The pressure from your toothbrush can also distort your retainer.
Clean before storing: Oral appliances are an ideal breeding environment for germs, so you must clean it adequately to avoid any bacterial buildup. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean your retainer and wash it thoroughly with water before putting it back in the container.
If you notice any buildup on the surface of your teeth retainers, you can take them to your dental hygienist, who can blow up the deposits with ultrasonic cleaning.
- Avoid chemical contact: Harsh chemicals can erode the surface of your retainers. Other than your toothpaste you may use mild vinegar, baking soda, or denture tablets to clean your denture but never use bleach or any alcohol-based cleaning agents on your retainers.
- Avoid heat contact: Do not use hot water on your retainers as the plastic can warp from the heat. This is especially true for Essix retainers that are not as sturdy as the other ones.
Teeth retainers can be quite expensive. Although you now have the alternative of ordering them online for a fraction of the cost, you must take ample care of your dental retainers for best results.Maintenance of teeth retainers is easy and if you follow the above tips, a single retainer can easily last the entire duration of your treatment.