The majority of our Vancouver orthodontist patients who wear retainers are gearing up to head back to school. This means getting school supplies together, registering for classes, getting a haircut and preparing the mind for a new level of learning. And, while the start of school feels like the end of summer, there are still plenty of days left in the season to make the most of your time. It’s a great chance to get organized for the year and a great time to reflect on your personal health organization skills as well. Our Vancouver orthodontist has a few tips that will help you govern your oral health and retainer all at the same time.
Protect your retainer
The function of your retainer is to keep your teeth from moving as they adjust to their new alignment. Essentially, it is protecting the work of our Vancouver orthodontist and your braces. Now, it’s your job to protect your teeth and in turn, your retainer. Keep your retainer either in your mouth or in its own carrying case. The case is sturdy and will keep your retainer safe especially when tossed into a gym bag or backpack. Another benefit of always using your case is that you avoid the lunch tray debacle. This is when you set your retainer on your lunch tray and then dump your tray in the garbage before remembering to grab the retainer. The case will either protect your retainer amidst the trash or serve as a larger target to remember.
Clean your retainer
It is extremely important to keep your retainer clean. Refrain from leaving it on a lunch table or restaurant if you are dining out. Thousands of different viruses and bacteria could be living on these surfaces. Don’t let your retainer come into contact with these pathogens. Instead, keep it in the carrying case when you are eating or don’t have to wear it. Clean your retainer by rinsing it with water before reinserting it, or give it a quick brush with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Like your teeth, your retainer needs to be cleaned at least twice each day. In between brushing the retainer, it is acceptable to rinse it off before inserting it back into your mouth.
Besides keeping your retainer safe in a proper case and cleaning it at least twice each day, it is important to brush and floss your teeth. Brushing twice each day for two minutes at a time will remove plaque and bacteria that can attach to your retainer. Flossing removes the plaque buildup between your teeth. With busy school and activity schedules, it might be best for you to pack a travel kit for your oral hygiene needs. This way, you’re never too far from a clean mouth and you’ll have fresh breath wherever you go.
For more topics about your retainer or oral health, follow our Facebook page. We’re also available at our Vancouver orthodontist office to answer any of your questions. Welcome back, students! We hope you have a fantastic year.