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How to Take Care of Your Retainers

Retainer Care


Updated: March 27, 2007

Photo ŠTammy Davenport

Broken Upper Retainer

Photo ŠTammy Davenport
I remember losing and breaking several retainers as a teenager. I never understood why my parents were so frustrated about buying me new ones. Now I know. Having a retainer replaced or repaired can be quite costly.

If you've worn braces and your orthodontist has decided that you need to wear retainers, the following tips can help you take care of (as well as keep up with) your retainers:

  • When you brush your teeth, brush your retainers also. Rinse with cool or warm water and put them back in your mouth.
  • Don't flip your retainers with your tongue. It can be very tempting (especially with a new retainer), but this habit usually ends up breaking the retainer.

The safest place for your retainers is in your mouth. When you do take out your retainers, be sure to follow these tips:

  • Never wrap your retainers in a napkin, paper towel or tissue because they will more than likely get thrown away. In fact, I lost one this way.
  • Don't ever put your retainers in your pockets or loose in your purse. They are sure to get broken.
  • Last but not least, don't leave your retainers sitting around. Children are curious about them and dogs love to eat them up. My dog thoroughly enjoyed mine for dinner one time.

Taking care of your retainers doesn't have to be difficult and neither does wearing them. Remember, it's not forever and if you don't listen to your orthodontist, your teeth could shift back into their old positions.

Related Video
How to Brush Teeth With Braces
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