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Cleaning And Caring for Retainers

You’ve been waiting patiently for the day your braces come off, and now that day has arrived! It’s important to know that while you should celebrate your new smile, you also need to wear a retainer to keep those beautiful results.

Once you’ve completed your initial orthodontic treatment, we will give you a set of retainers to keep your new alignment in place. Since teeth have a natural tendency to change position over time, smile retention is key to locking in that smile!

Like braces and Invisalign, following simple cleaning and care guidelines is essential for protecting your smile investment long term. Learn more about how to clean retainers, how to take care of retainers, and how smile retention lets you enjoy beautiful smiles for life. Schedule an appointment with Lund Orthodontics today!

How To Clean Retainers

Once you’ve completed your initial orthodontic treatment, we will recommend a type of retainer that will be best for keeping your unique smile in place. Because permanent retainers are not always a great option for many different clinical reasons, we usually recommend removable retainers over permanent retainers

Both types of retainers require daily cleaning and care. Here are some tips on how to clean your retainer:

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How To Clean Removable Retainers

Whether you have a Hawley retainer or overlay retainer, it only takes a few extra steps to keep your removable retainer clean. We recommend using a toothbrush, lukewarm water, and a small amount of toothpaste to clean your removable retainer. Gently brush in circular motions, making sure you get into all the hard-to-reach areas.

Make sure that you’re only using lukewarm water to clean your retainers, as hot water can warp them. Put them back into their case when you’re done!

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How To Clean Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are bonded behind your teeth, which makes them a bit harder to keep clean. Since these retainers sit quite close to the back of the teeth, they can easily attract food particles and plaque, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. 

When you brush your teeth, take extra care of your permanent retainer. Make sure you brush around and between the retainer wire and the teeth. Next, while you’re doing your regular flossing, thread the floss through the teeth and under the wire. Gently floss in between the teeth, rinse with water or mouthwash, and you’re finished!

Caring for Your Retainer

Learning to properly clean retainers is only one element of retainer care. Consistent care is required in order to make your retainer last for many years. When you practice good retainer care, you also safeguard your smile results. Here are some helpful tips on how to care for retainers after braces:

  • Bring your retainer case with you whenever you’re on the go.
  • Every time you remove your retainer, be sure to place it back in its case.
  • Don’t put your retainer in a napkin! It seems like a good idea, but many retainers get accidentally thrown away this way.
  • Do not expose your retainer to hot water or heat, which can warp the material.
  • Keep your retainers out of the reach of pets and children.
  • Do not use alcohol, bleach, or heavy chemical cleaners, as they can damage the plastic.

Prepare for The Unexpected with Our Digital Retention Program

If you have good oral hygiene, you may be able to take advantage of our digital retention program. Patients who qualify for the digital retention program will only need to pay about $680 for three sets of overlay retainers. Without membership, overlay retainers can cost up to $199 per upper or lower retainer. 

Having back-ups of your overlay retainers set (both uppers and lowers) comes in handy for when they are inevitably lost or damaged. Plus, we keep your scans on file, so you won’t need to make an extra appointment if your three retainer sets are compromised. 

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Learn More About Retainer Care From the Superstars at Lund Orthodontics

We love seeing happy patients enjoy their newly aligned smiles. After orthodontic treatment, the best way to safeguard your investment is to wear your retainer consistently and take good care of it. Whether you need a removable or permanent retainer, the Superstars here at Lund Orthodontics are excited to help you get a beautiful smile for life.

We transform smiles across Lake Stevens, Kirkland, and Snohomish. Get started by calling us, texting us, and scheduling an appointment with Lund Orthodontics today!

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