It is no secret that dogs like to chew on things…. this includes retainers! If you have a dog, never leave your retainers or Invisalign aligners on a table, counter, night stand, or any where they can jump up and snag the appliances. It only takes a few chews to distort or completely destroy them . And if they swallow the sharp pieces of plastic, it can cause serious health issues a for your beloved pet!
Young children seem to be fascinated with them as well. They pick them up out of curiosity and although they may not chew on them like a pet (or sometimes they do!), they tend to drop them wherever they roam, making the retainers hard to find. At DiCiccio Orthodontics we can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of your retainers. Here are some tips on how to keep your appliances out of harms way. Generally speaking, the safest place for retainers is in your mouth!
• Always place your retainers in a CASE when not in your mouth. If you put them in a pocket they can fall out, get bent, broken or end up in the wash and destroyed. If they are loose in your backpack, gym bag, or on a locker shelf, you are asking for them to get bent or broken. If you leave them lying around in the open, it is just an accident waiting to happen!
• Do not wrap the retainers in a napkin while eating at home, school, or a friend’s house. There is a good chance they will end up in the garbage by mistake. It’s a nasty job sifting through garbage for a retainer, especially at school or in a restaurant! YUCK…
• Do not clean the retainers with hot water or boil your retainer to sterilize. It will distort the plastic so they won’t fit and then you must replace them! To clean them, gently scrub them with your toothbrush and some toothpaste at least once a day.
• Take them out when swimming. More than one retainer has ended up lost in the ocean surf, bottom of a lake, or public pool.
• Take them out if you have to vomit. Once you flush, they are gone!
• And the one rule that seems to be most popular…KEEP RETAINERS… AWAY FROM PETS AND SMALL CHILDREN!
Even though your braces are off, your treatment is not complete. Follow the instructions we give when you get the retainers. If you go without wearing your retainers for a prolonged length of time, especially right after the braces are removed, your teeth will begin to move. Most likely, a couple of years down the road we will have you wearing them periodically to make sure things are not shifting. If you lose or damaged your retainers, contact our office to schedule an appointment to replace them. Maintaining your smile depends on it!