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A young girl holding her retainer and smiling.After your braces are removed, your dentist will fit your mouth with a retainer that you'll need to wear for up to a year or two. Once your braces are taken off, your teeth will want to shift back to their original places, but a retainer can hold them in place.

Many people suffer from relapses after their braces come off. While they may enjoy a new, straight smile temporarily, failure to wear your retainer as instructed will result in the recurrence of a crooked smile.

Other oral health changes could cause your teeth to shift positions later on, so if you feel that your teeth have moved out of alignment, talk to your orthodontist.

Caring For Your Retainer

A dental retainer is a removable orthodontic device customized to hold your teeth in position often following braces or surgery. They are made from acrylic or a mixture of wire and acrylic. Caring for your retainer reduces bacteria in your mouth and extends the life of the retainer. At MVP Smiles, we can customize your retainer to help you maintain your beautiful smile, and if you follow basic care instructions you can have a healthier, long term gorgeous smile.

Some of the tips we provide patients with concerning their retainer include:

Wear Your Retainer Most of the Time

Your retainer is there to help your muscles and surrounding tissue hold their placement. Teeth can shift and move, the retainer is designed to help retain the work that was done with braces or from surgery. Though removable, you will want to wear your retainer most of the time. In general, it should only be removed for brief periods such as eating, brushing, possibly while playing a sport or playing a woodwind or brass instrument.

Clean Your Retainer

Cleaning your retainer regularly is important to your oral health. Since your retainer sits against your teeth and gums it is subject to stuck debris and bacteria growth. This material can cause decay. You may find that rinsing your retainer with water occasionally through the day to be helpful, but ultimately you also want to include your retainer in your daily oral hygiene plan.
This includes:
•  Brushing: Remove your retainer and with toothpaste brush your teeth as normal, then also brush your retainer while it is still outside of your mouth, be sure to brush all sides. Then rinse your retainer and your mouth.
•  Deeper Clean: Occasionally you may want to do a deeper clean of your retainer, this can be done with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. Rinse well.
•  Mouthwash: To freshen your retainer, you may pour some mouthwash on it, rinse and then place in your mouth. Mouthwash kills bacteria and freshens the device.

Beware of Heat

Your retainer device can warp and weaken if left in hot places. Beware to not leave your retainer in a car, on a windowsill or other places of extreme heat.

Fixed or Bonded Retainers

Not all retainers are removable, some retainers are permanent in your mouth. If you have a retainer that is not removable, you will need to take great care to remove debris and plaque from between the wire and teeth. This may take some time along with advanced flossing skills. Place the floss between the wire and teeth and be sure to move the thread along the wire and between the teeth to remove and dislodge any unwanted material.

Other Tips

Having a retainer can be a big responsibility, it is easy to make a mistake. Some other tips include:
•  Create a routine when out to eat: One of the most common ways a patient loses their retainer is while out to eat. Retainers get left on food trays and accidentally tossed, or wrapped in napkins and then forgotten. Create a routine to help you remember, do you have a case in your bag to put it in when eating?
•  Beware of Pets: Another common issue is a pet getting ahold of the device and chewing on it. If you have a pet, never assume your retainer is safe on a table.

Monday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues & Wed 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday: By appointment only *
Sunday: Closed

*1 Sat per Month during the school year for orthodontic patients
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Retainers • Pediatric Dentist Gaithersburg • MVP Smiles
Expertly crafted retainers in Gaithersburg MD for a lasting, confident smile. Trust our quality solutions for effective post-orthodontic care. Call MVP Smiles today!
MVP Smiles, 806 W. Diamond Ave. Suite 250, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 / (240) 981-4020 / / 7/5/2024 / Key Phrases: pediatric dentist Gaithersburg /