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If you have braces, the day will come when it is time for them to come off. That day may seem like it is a long way off, but it will come.

However, even though you are done with your braces, you aren’t quite finished straightening your teeth. Your braces have moved your teeth into new positions. The job of your retainer will be to make sure they stay there as they settle into their new alignments. Since every person is different, each person will have to wear their retainer for a different length of time. For some people, it may be a matter of months. Other people may need to wear their retainer every night for the rest of their lives. However, you will need to wear your retainer for the length of time prescribed by your dentist. If you don’t, your teeth may drift out of alignment and back into their original positions, undoing all the work done by your braces.

You should remove your retainer when you play sports. But when you take it out, it needs to be placed in its container. Get in the habit of always keeping your container in your pocket, backpack or purse, to lessen the chances of losing your it.

Fixed retainers that have been placed in your mouth should be gently brushed and flossed using a floss threader or a water flossers. Removable retainers should be rinsed with a vinegar and water solution or with denture cleaning tablets. You should not use regular toothpaste on your retainer since the abrasives can damage the acrylic.

If you have questions about caring for your orthodontic work, our orthodontist, Dr. David Li would be delighted to meet with you. If you live in the San Diego, California area, call 858-560-4047 today to make an appointment.