After your braces come off, your dentist will either give you a removable retainer to wear, or cement a fixed retainer behind your teeth. Whichever type of retainer you have, it is very important that you take good care of it, and let your dentist know if it is damaged. A damaged retainer will not keep your teeth in their proper alignment, and it may not be long until they drift back into their original positions. So, if your retainer is damaged, you need to let your dentist know as soon as possible, so your retainer can be repaired or replaced.
If you wear a removable retainer, you will notice any damage when you take it out to clean it, to eat, or to play sports. With a fixed retainer, you may not notice that it is has been damaged until you see your teeth moving out of alignment. Until you can have your retainer repaired or replaced, you should stick with soft foods to avoid damaging your bite. You can also purchase a mouthguard to wear when you sleep to help keep your teeth in their proper alignment.
Of course, the best thing to do is avoid things that can damage your retainer. That means staying away from hard foods, and not chewing on ice, pens or other objects. If you play sports, you should wear a mouthguard if you have a fixed retainer, and keep your removable retainer in its case if you aren’t wearing it.
If you have questions about braces or retainers, our dentist would love to talk with you! If you live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, and would like to schedule an appointment at James V. Karhohs, DDS, MS, PC you can call 616-784-4300 today to plan your visit.