How to Care for Your Dental Appliance


A dental appliance is often another part of the treatment process to correct the problem of crowded teeth. You or your child may wear the appliance before receiving braces or after an orthodontist at O.C. Dental Specialist removes them. Unlike braces that alter the alignment of teeth, the purpose of a dental appliance such as a retainer is to keep the shifted teeth in their new position. It’s important that all patients wear their retainer exactly as directed by our orthodontists.

Best Practices to Care for Your Retainer

It’s normal for your teeth or your child’s teeth to feel sore for a few days after receiving a new retainer. However, don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an adjustment if the soreness persists or if you notice a spot on your tongue caused by friction from the retainer. When cleaning your dental appliance, we recommend removing it from your mouth and brushing it with toothpaste. Be sure to do this at least once a day. You can also use denture cleaning tablets if it appears that your retainer needs extra attention. Be sure to floss daily and to exercise caution around a retainer that’s bonded behind the front two teeth with wire. When removing your retainer from your mouth, place it inside of its hard plastic case right away. Someone could accidentally throw it away if you wrap it in a paper towel or a curious pet could chew it and destroy it. We also recommend keeping your retainer far from any heat sources to prevent it from melting. Although it takes a period of adjustment to get used to the feel of hard plastic on the roof of your mouth, avoid the temptation to push your tongue against your new retainer. This can cause breakage or other types of damage. You will need to pay out-of-pocket for any that you or your child lose or break. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions.