The busy holiday season is just around the corner, and so are the social activities and parties that go with it. It's also a time when Bel Air Orthodontics is busy replacing broken or lost retainers. Why you ask? There a number of factors, but it comes down to the fact that your retainer is spending too much time out of your mouth! Holiday fun brings a change in your daily routine, more meals with family and friends, and that usually means more opportunities to lose, break or forget your retainer.
Your retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment, so follow these tips to keep your retainer and your smile looking great:
- Never Wrap It In A Napkin - While a retainer on the table might not be the most appetizing sight, hiding it in a napkin is a quick and sure way to accidentally send your retainer into the trash can!
- Keep It Away From Fido – It’s a fact, dogs love the smell and taste of saliva on retainers and they’ll go to impressive lengths to get their canines on them. Never leave your retainers on a night stand, counter, or table where they can jump up and snag the appliance. Remember, dogs like to chew on things . . . this includes retainers!
- Don’t Be Random – While spontaneity is a good thing in life, it’s a bad thing when it comes to storing your retainer. If you put your retainer in random places, you’re bound to eventually forget where it is. Instead, create designated spots to keep your retainer. Whether it’s the same spot in your purse or backpack, a special drawer in your bedroom, or a cabinet in the kitchen, you’ll always know where it is.
- Don't Put It In Your Pocket - Your retainer is more fragile than you think. Placing it in your pocket or purse often leads to loss or breakage. Just imagine the look on your Mom’s face when she discovers that she tossed that pair of jeans or jacket in the washer and dryer without knowing the retainer is tuck away in the pocket. Let’s just say that story doesn’t end well.
- Clean It With Luke Warm – NOT HOT WATER - While keeping your retainer clean and bright is important, never use hot water to clean it or boil it to sterilize. Heat will distort and damage your retainers. Instead, soak your retainers in a denture cleaning product like Efferdent once a week to keep them clean.
- Label Your Retainer Case – If you do happen to misplace your retainer, your chances of having someone return it are much greater if your name, phone number and/or email address are on the case.
- Don’t Forget To Wear It – If you are wearing your retainer when you’re supposed to, you’re much less likely to lose it. Make wearing your retainer as prescribed your new healthy habit!
- Always Keep Your Retainer In Its Case When Not In Your Mouth – This is Dr. Godwin’s number one rule! Your case is designed to keep your retainer safe when it’s not in your mouth, so remember to use it.
If you do happen to have a retainer mishap over the holidays, make sure you contact us as soon as possible so that we can schedule an appointment to make a replacement appliance. Remember, every day that your retainer is not being worn, tooth movement is occurring. So don’t delay, call us today if you have any questions about your retainer wear and care. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!