Wearing braces and having them adjusted on a regular basis was just the first step in realigning your teeth for a healthy mouth and an appealing smile. Once the braces have been removed, your teeth will still need a little while to get used to their new positions. This will require you to use a retainer for about the same length of time you needed to wear braces.
If you only needed braces to make some minor corrections to your teeth, then our A Dental Care team might prescribe a clear, plastic retainer. This style of retainer is very similar to the aligner trays used for Invisalign® and ClearCorrect® treatment. The clear, plastic material makes it hard for people to even notice you’re wearing a retainer.
You can drink normally while the clear, plastic retainer is in your mouth. However, you should always take the retainer out when you eat. When you’re not wearing it, you should keep the appliance in the case provided rather than improvising with something like a plastic bag or napkin.
You can keep the duration of time you need to wear the retainer to a bare minimum by always being diligent about wearing it during the recommended times. Most people need to use a retainer for about the same amount of time they needed to have braces.
When you take your clear, plastic retainer out of your mouth, you should rinse it to remove lingering food particles and plaque. You can refresh your clear, plastic retainer each night by soaking it in a mixture of half cold water and half antiseptic mouthwash.
If you notice a little plaque buildup, you can lightly brush the retainer with a soft toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. You shouldn’t use abrasive toothpaste because the abrasives could scuff and dull the plastic material, making the retainer more noticeable.