After straightening your teeth, whether through traditional braces or other orthodontics, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
Our dentists will walk you through how long you will need to wear your retainer, but most people will need to wear them daily for a few months after having their braces removed. We can help set you up with the right retainer for your lifestyle.
Types of Retainers
At Bander Dental Group, we offer three different types of retainers.
- Clear retainers: A clear plastic tray that goes over your teeth, much like clear aligners. Clear retainers look very natural and are hard to detect when worn.
- Bonded retainers: A thin metal wire that is bonded to the back of either your top or bottom front teeth. These are not removable and help keep your teeth in place long-term.
- Traditional retainers: Also known as Hawley retainers, this is what most people think of when they think about retainers. They consist of a plastic piece that is molded to fit your mouth with wires to hold your teeth in place.
How to Clean Your Retainer
If you’re not sure how to clean your retainer, it’s easy! For bonded retainers, keeping up with good oral hygiene habits should be enough to keep it clean. Flossing under the retainer wire might take some getting used to, but it’s an important step to take. Our Grand Rapids dentists can help you get the hang of it.
To clean a traditional or, remove it each time you brush your teeth, and brush the retainer with your toothbrush and toothpaste. This prevents plaque buildup on the retainer piece. For an added clean, you can soak your retainer in a special cleaning solution. Always rinse with cold water, as hot water can warp the retainer’s shape over time.
When you’re not using your retainer, be sure to put it back in its protective case. This helps keep bacteria away from the retainer and also prevents it from getting bent.