4 Retainer Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on July 3, 2024


Retainers are a great way to maintain alignment, ensuring your teeth are straight. An orthodontist will carefully fit a retainer to your teeth to ensure a proper fit, and they may continue to monitor progress. However, it’s crucial to ensure you wear and care for your retainer properly throughout treatment. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

1. Not Wearing It

Some people feel self-conscious about their retainer or don’t want to wear it. Not wearing your retainer can cause your teeth to shift slowly, and you may regress in your treatment plan. According to Web MD, some patients have to wear their retainers 12 to 23 hours daily. It’s essential to remember this and wear your retainer when you’re supposed to.

2. Not Cleaning

Although you’re not supposed to wear your retainer while eating, bacteria and germs can still get on it. It’s important to clean your retainer regularly. Orthodontists may sell or recommend retainer cleaner to ensure you don’t use abrasive cleaners on your retainer. Ask your orthodontist what you should use to clean it and how often it needs to be cleaned. Many patients clean their retainer every time they brush their teeth to help them remember.

3. Heat Exposure

Heat can damage retainers by making them warp and lose their shape. Once your retainer is warped, you must head to your orthodontist for a new one. Instead, avoid heat. Steer clear of hot beverages when possible, and use a straw when you do drink them so the hot liquid doesn’t come in contact with your retainer. Don’t use hot water when cleaning or storing your retainer, and never leave it in direct sunlight.

4. Improper Storage

Another common mistake is not storing a retainer properly. Placing your retainer out in the open can lead to dirt, dust, and bacteria getting on it. It can also fall off a table and get damaged. Instead, always store your retainer in its case when you’re not using it. Consider purchasing an additional case to carry in your purse, so you always have one handy when taking out your retainer.

We understand that retainers require special care. However, it’s crucial to avoid these common mistakes orthodontists see. If you notice discomfort, it’s a sign your retainer is warped. Contact Jacaranda Smiles to schedule an appointment if you have any problems or questions. We’ll happily help you learn how to take care of your retainer.

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