What You Should and Shouldn’t do When You Have a Retainer
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Retainer Do’s and Don’ts: What You Should and Shouldn’t do When You Have a Retainer?

Let’s face it: retainers can be cumbersome and inconvenient, and difficult to remember to wear, but they’re crucial to the ongoing alignment of your teeth. Usually, you get a retainer after your braces have been removed. These devices are molded to your mouth, keeping your teeth in place so they don’t start to shift again. A retainer is a custom-made, removable appliance that helps teeth keep their new position after braces have been removed – an integral part of post-braces care, says Web MD. Failure to wear your retainer could set you back months of dental work. In addition to post-braces care, retainers can be used to treat tongue thrust, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), to close gaps in between teeth or to move one tooth.Retainers in Virginia Beach, VA

Whatever the reason you have for wearing retainers, there are some do’s and don’ts that come with retainers. Here are some of them:


  • Wear them as directed. Your orthodontist may want you to wear your retainer all day long, or just at night.
  • Take your retainer out when eating.
  • Rinse the device thoroughly every day and dry it before storing it.
  • Clean it thoroughly in retainer cleaning solution, denture cleaner or a baking soda and water solution once a week.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Brush your retainer with toothpaste before bedtime or upon awakening in the morning. Keep your retainer in your mouth or in its container.
  • Bring your retainer when you visit the orthodontist for checkups. This helps the doctor determine if the retainer is still a good fit for you.


  • Eat sticky candies like taffy and gummy worms.
  • Place it on a bedside table or in a tissue or napkin. This dries out the retainer, plus it makes it super easy to throw it away by accident.
  • Leave the device in your pocket without securing it inside its container.
  • Leave it exposed outside its case for hours.
  • Boil the retainer or sterilize it with alcohol. You can damage the structure.
  • Skip nights. Even one or two nights without wearing your retainer can cause slight shifting.
  • Flip them or play with them using your tongue. Just leave them alone so you don’t ruin the retainer, cause it to fall onto the ground, or damage your mouth.
  • Put your retainer in the dishwasher.
  • Leave your retainer where pets or small children could get at it.

Is you retainer broke? Do you think you need a “tune up”? Don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment to take a look at your retainer and make adjustments as needed. Contact Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser today, with four convenient locations to choose from.

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