Each adjustment session of your braces served to stretch the periodontal ligaments holding your teeth in the sockets. Even after your braces are removed, there will still be some residual tension. Wearing a retainer serves to counter the tension until it subsides. When it does your teeth will remain in their new alignment for many years to come.
If you only needed braces to provide a small amount of realignment for your teeth, your Blais Orthodontics orthodontist might recommend a clear plastic retainer. This style of retainer is very similar to aligner trays like Invisalign®. The clear plastic material makes it hard for the casual observer to even notice you’re wearing it.
Most people need to use a retainer for about the same amount of time they needed to have braces. Cleaning and caring for your plastic retainer and wearing it during the prescribed times, will keep the duration you need to use it to a bare minimum.
You can drink normally while you have the clear plastic retainer in your mouth. When you sit down to eat a meal or a snack, you will need to take the retainer out to prevent it from being damaged. When you’re not wearing it, you should keep it in the case provided. You should only improvise a case as an absolute last resort.
When you take your clear plastic retainer out, you should rinse it to remove lingering food particles and plaque. You can refresh your clear plastic retainer each night, by soaking it in a mixture of half cold water and half antiseptic mouthwash.
If you notice a little plaque buildup, you can gently brush the retainer with a soft tooth brush and nonabrasive toothpaste. You should avoid using abrasive toothpaste as this could dull the plastic material and make it more noticeable when you’re wearing it.
If you have any questions about how to properly take care of your clear plastic retainer, please call Blais Orthodontics’s office in Scarsdale, New York at 914.472.9595 to ask a question.