Clear Advantage: How to Make the Most of Clear Retainers

Dentist Blog

Clear retainers, such as Invisalign braces, offer many benefits over traditional fixed braces. Just one is that, as removable devices, these retainers hand you control over your own treatment. However, it's also important for a patient to understand how to get the most out of their retainers and maximize their results. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.

Keep Them In

As your retainers are easy to remove, it may be tempting to take them out often, particularly when you're first getting used to wearing them. However, this is not recommended. Only take your retainers out to clean them or your teeth and when you're eating — and never leave them off overnight. Failing to wear your retainers for 20 to 22 hours per day will significantly impact the speed of your treatment.

Clean Regularly

Think of your clear retainers as being an extension of your real teeth, or part of them, and clean them twice daily. It's a great idea to do this when you get up and before you go to bed to get into a strong routine. Rinse them off when you replace them after eating too.

Choose Products Carefully

Clean your retainers with care by selecting appropriate materials that won't harm them. For example, it may be counterintuitive, but do not use toothpaste on your retainers. These can cause staining, and may not clean them effectively. Consider purchasing products specifically designed for the purpose of cleaning your retainers, such as retainer cleaning salts.

Use a Case

Even though you only take your retainers out for brief periods of time, don't leave them out in the open air. This leaves them vulnerable to bacteria and other debris that isn't ideal for them or for your teeth. Instead, bring your case everywhere with you, and place them directly into it as you remove them. This can also prevent them from getting lost, as clear retainers can be easy to misplace.

Check Compliance Indicators

Some orthodontists may offer the ability to include discreet compliance indicators on the retainers. These are small blue dots on the underside of the retainer which will disappear if they are being worn frequently enough. These are a fantastic way for parents to ensure children and teens are wearing their retainers.

In all, clear retainers such as Invisalign braces are very easy to care for, particularly once you have a routine in place. It's just vital to ensure that this routine you develop is what's best for you and your retainers, and these tips should certainly help you to do so.

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7 December 2020

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