Posted .

Traditional braces and clear, plastic aligners work by stretching your periodontal ligaments to gradually move your teeth into their ideal positions. If your teeth only needed a modest amount of realignment, your James B. Macomson, DDS, MSO, PA orthodontist might recommend wearing a clear, plastic retainer.

This style of a retainer is very similar to the aligner trays used by Invisalign®. The clear, plastic material makes it hard for the casual observer to even notice you’re wearing it. You should expect to use the retainer during the prescribed times for about the same amount of time you needed to wear your braces. Cleaning and maintaining your clear, plastic retainer each day will keep the total duration of wear time to the bare minimum.

You can drink normally while you have the clear, plastic retainer in your mouth. When you sit down to eat a meal or a snack, you will need to take the retainer out to keep it from being damaged. When you’re not wearing it, you should keep it in the case provided. You should only improvise a case as an absolute last resort.

You should rinse the retainer to remove lingering food particles and plaque every time you take it out. You can refresh your clear, plastic retainer each night by soaking it in a mixture of half cold water and half antiseptic mouthwash.

If you notice a little plaque buildup, you can gently brush the retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. You should avoid using abrasive toothpaste because it could dull the plastic material and make it more noticeable when you’re wearing it.

If you have any questions about how to properly clean and maintain your plastic retainer in Gastonia, North Carolina, you can always call James B. Macomson, DDS, MSO, PA at 704-215-4430 to seek further advice from your orthodontist, Dr. James B. Macomson.