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Looking after your retainer at home

Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on May 4, 2020

How can I look after my retainer while at home?

It’s hugely important to continue to look after your fixed or removable retainer as well as your teeth, especially while we’re all snacking more at home right now! Here are our Top Tips: 1) Clean your teeth for 2 minutes morning and night plus after any meal or snack but be sure to wait 20 minutes after eating before brushing; 2) Clean between teeth using interdental brushes or floss, paying special attention between teeth held by a fixed retainer; 3) Clean your retainer each time you remove it and always store it in its case.

What if I forget to wear my removable retainer at home?

If you forget to wear your daytime or night retainer, even for 1 or 2 days, your teeth can start to move again. If you have a fixed retainer and completed your straightening treatment in the last 12 months, wear your night retainer throughout the following day as well; if it was over 12 months ago and you’ve already switched to only wearing it alternate nights, go back to every night for a couple of nights.

What if I break my retainer at home?

If your fixed metal retainer breaks or comes completely off your teeth, don’t worry. Wearing your night retainer in the day as well as at night will hold your teeth in position until we can see you and re-attach it or make a new one if it’s broken. Similarly, if your removable one is broken or damaged, please contact us to make you a new replacement removable retainer.

What if I’ve lost my removable retainer at home?

Removable retainers have a habit of going missing! If you’ve lost yours – or it’s damaged in a way that it no longer fits snugly – please let us know and we can arrange for a new one to be made and sent to you.

What if I feel discomfort from my retainer at home?

If the wire from your fixed retainer is hurting your mouth, please contact us. We’ll tell you how to gently and safely remove if you are unable to attend the clinic. Then, you’ll just need to wear your night retainer every day and night until you can come to see us. Keep your fixed retainer safe, as it’s custom-made to your teeth, so we can re-attach it. If your removable one is rubbing, smooth any rough edges with a nail file. But if any discomfort or pain gets worse, please contact us.

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