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The day you get your braces off is a big day! You have spent months getting your smile to look just the way you want it to. Odds are, your orthodontist has discussed the importance of wearing a retainer after your braces treatment to help make sure your teeth stay straight. While you may know the basics about orthodontic retainers, here are 5 things you may not know:

1. Retainers are shaped with heat. This means that if your retainer gets too hot, its customized shape could become distorted. Avoid leaving your retainer in the car, in your pocket, or on a windowsill. Do not rinse your retainer with hot water.

2. Pets love retainers. That’s right – pets have been known to chew and even eat retainers. Keep your retainer safe by keeping it in its case when you’re not wearing it.

3. Not wearing your retainer properly can mean a second round of braces. After your braces come off, Dr. William B. Hentosz will instruct you on how often you need to wear your retainer. Even when you only need to wear your retainer at night, doing so can keep your teeth from shifting out of place.

4. Retainers get dirty. Keep them clean by brushing them with toothpaste, or soaking them in denture cleaner. A clean retainer can help keep your teeth clean and prevent bad breath.

5. You may need to replace your retainer at some point in your life. While retainers are durable, you may need a new one if it doesn’t fit properly, if it becomes damaged, or if it becomes worn down from regular use.

Wearing your retainer is essential to maintaining the beautifully straight smile you have just achieved. If you have any questions about your retainer, we invite you to contact William B. Hentosz, DDS, INC and 626-458-8898 and schedule an appointment to talk with our orthodontist in Alhambra, California.