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Once your braces are removed, your orthodontist will fit you with a retainer. The job of the retainer is to make sure that your teeth settle securely into their new positions. In order for the retainer to do it’s job, it needs to be kept clean and in good shape.

If you are playing any sports or are participating in recreation that could result in a blow to your mouth, you should remove your retainer. The orthodontist will provide you with a case for your retainer. Get in the habit of carrying that case with you and keeping it in your pocket, backpack or purse to lessen the chances that you may lose it. If you wear a fixed retainer, you should ask your orthodontist about getting a custom-made mouthguard.

If you have a fixed retainer, brush and floss just as you normally would. If you have trouble using floss on your retainer, try using a floss threader or a water flosser. Do not use regular toothpaste on a removable retainer, since that can damage your appliance. You can use an antibacterial rinse or vinegar and a denture soaking solution to keep it clean.

If you take your retainer out at home, place it in the container and keep it away from heat and pets. Excessive heat can warp your retainer, and pets have been known to chew on them.

If you are thinking about getting braces or another procedure to straighten your smile, our orthodontist, Dr. Lautt would be happy to meet with you for an exam and a consultation. If you live in the Ventura, California, area call 805-650-1080 to make an appointment at Coastal Orthodontic Care.