Questions About Wearing Your Retainer After Braces

Are you having your braces taken off and will be wearing a retainer? If so, you may be wondering what rules you should be following when wearing a retainer. Here are a few key things to know so that you use your retainer the correct way.

Can You Keep Your Retainer In While Eating?

Some people think that if they wear their retainer while eating that it will protect their teeth from cavities. This is not true at all, since a retainer does not provide protection from cavities because the retainer does not form a tight seal around your teeth. It actually will cause your teeth to become covered in all of the food that you are eating, which gets trapped against your teeth. For example, if you drink a soda, your teeth are going to essentially soak in the acidity from the drink and be more likely to cause cavities.

In addition, it is not a good idea to even be wearing your retainer when you eat or drink hot foods and beverages. This is because hot items can cause the retainer to become warped, which will make it less effective to use. You may end up needing to get your retainer replaced prematurely as a result.

What Care Should Be Taken After Eating Food?

Know that putting your retainer in after eating requires some additional care. While you cannot always brush your teeth immediately after eating, it is ideal to make sure that you don't have food and bacteria that become trapped against your teeth. If brushing is not possible, you should rinse out your mouth with water so that the vast majority of the food particles can be washed off the surface.

When Should A Retainer Be Replaced

It can be difficult to know when it is time to replace your retainer once it does become damaged. Consider taking it to your dental cleaning so that it can be inspected by your dentist. They will look for damage that could cause problems over time and require replacement. If you end up cracking your retainer, that is a good reason to look into replacement. Not only will the retainer not provide the force it needs to keep your teeth in place, but cracks can be a place where bacteria can hide.

Looking for more information about using your new retainer? Be sure to ask your dentist for their tips and tricks.