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After your braces comes your retainer. It is simply a fact of life. Your braces have been moving your teeth into their new positions, and when they come off, a retainer is need to make sure that your teeth settle into their new places and that the ligaments in your jaw remain properly positioned.

While there is no set length of time for wearing your retainer, it is important that you wear it for the length of time prescribed by your dentist. It is equally important that you take care of your retainer.

If you have a fixed retainer, it has been placed in your mouth by your orthodontist and is being held in place by dental cement. You will need to brush twice a day and floss twice a day, making a special effort to clean around your retainer. You may have some trouble flossing around the retainer, so ask your dentist about using a floss threader or a water flosser.

A removable retainer needs to be cleaned every day. It can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water, and denture cleaning tablets. You should not clean your retainer with regular toothpaste since it can dull the material which can make a place for bacteria to cling to the the retainer.

When you are not wearing your retainer, such as when you are sleeping or playing sports,  it needs to be placed in the container provided by your orthodontist. You should get in the habit of keeping your container in your pocket, backpack or purse to lower the chances that you could lose it.

If you are thinking about getting braces, or considering some other procedure for aligning your smile, our orthodontist, Dr. John R. Schouten will be happy to see you for an exam and consultation. You can reach our practice, Uinta Orthodontics in Evanston, Wyoming by calling (307) 789-8742.