Some FAQs About Retainers

Retainers are devices that dentists and orthodontists often for straightening teeth.

What is the difference between braces and a retainer?

A retainer is a removable structure that dentists use to help keep teeth straight. They usually use them after your braces have been removed. Retainers provide continued support to keep your teeth in place. There are some patients who may only need a retainer to straighten their teeth. And, some braces are also removable, like a retainer.

If your retainer hurts, should you still wear it?

It’s normal for a retainer to feel uncomfortable when you first start wearing it. Discomfort should disappear in a few days. If it doesn’t and hurts a lot, check with your dentist or orthodontist. Until your tongue gets used the retainer (maybe for a month or two), you may find talking a bit awkward.

Can a retainer that is too tight hurt your teeth?

Yes, if it is too tight and a bad fit, it can damage the surface of your teeth.

Why is it important to keep your retainer clean?

When a retainer isn’t clean, it can gather bacteria that can lead to cavities or infection.

What are some guidelines for cleaning retainers?

Here are some helpful guidelines listed in a US News article:

  • Before and after wearing your retainer, wash your hands.
  • To clean it, soak it in a water and vinegar solution.
  • Scrub it with baking soda or toothpaste that isn’t harsh.
  • Twice a week, clean it with a denture cleaner.
  • Don’t ever boil your retainer because boiling could ruin it.

How do you know whether you need a new retainer?

If there are small cracks in it or if it no longer fits well or feels loose, check with your dentist. Calcium that builds up on the retainer may be another indication you should replace it.

Get Help with Dental Care

If you have questions, our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental are glad to answer them and help you with dental care.

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