adult learns how to remember retainer after braces

3 Tips to Get in the Habit of Wearing Your Retainer

So you’ve finally got your braces off! It’s an exciting time and you’re absolutely in love with your new smile. In your dream-like haze, you may have missed a few of the helpful tips and instructions on wearing your retainer after braces. Hey, we get it. You’ve worked hard to get your beautiful dream smile so you want to enjoy it. Our orthodontists want you to enjoy it too. But we also want to help you keep your smile radiant and healthy as well.

The best way to retain your new smile is by wearing your retainer as prescribed! Let’s chat about 3 simple tips to remember to wear your retainer after braces.


1. Keep Your Retainer in Sight

When your braces or Invisalign treatment is first over, your retainer will be on full-time smile duty. You’ll be wearing your retainer all day and night, only removing it when you’re eating or drinking anything other than water. (A good rule of thumb is follow your Invisalign aligner guidelines when it comes to first wearing your retainer.)

Once Dr. Insoft or Dr. Hurst gives you the green light for nighttime retainer wear only, it’s a good idea to keep your retainer in a visible place that you visit before bed. Somewhere like your nightstand or your bathroom counter is the perfect place! You’ll be able to pop them after your nightly oral hygiene routine or as you get into bed for the night.

If you know yourself to be especially forgetful, we recommend choosing a bright color for your retainer case so your eye will always be drawn to it. It’s also a great idea to label your retainer case with your name and phone number, just in case you leave it somewhere when you’re out and about or while traveling.


2. Try a Retainer Reminder

For about the first 2 weeks, you have your retainer in all the time so it’s easy to remember it! But when it’s time to switch to nighttime wear only, it can be easy to forget to pop in your retainer. In fact, about 19% of patients stop wearing their retainer after 19 months of being braces-free. We want you to be part of the 81% of patients who do wear their retainer after braces to ensure you keep your new radiant smile! Here’s a few ways to remind yourself to put your retainer in every night.

  1. Keep a post-it note reminder stuck to your bathroom mirror or on your headboard
  2. Set a recurring alarm on your phone to put in your retainer
  3. Use a free Aligner Tracking App (yes, it works for retainers too!)


3. Make Cleaning Your Retainer Part of Your Busy Schedule

You may be worried that you won’t remember to wear your retainer because of your busy schedule. Research actually shows that those with busy schedules have better memory! And if you clean your retainer after taking it out, then make putting in your retainer part of your oral hygiene routine at night, you’ll start triggering your brain to move “retainer wear” from your working memory to your long-term memory (this technique is called distributed practice).

But why should you clean your retainer daily? Just like plaque can build up on your teeth, minerals and calcium can build up on your retainer. If you’re not sure how to clean your retainer or retainer case, check out this blog to keep your retainer looking new and bacteria-free!


Wear Your Retainer After Braces To Keep Your Radiant, Healthy Smile!

Your time in braces is over, but your teeth are still stabilizing in their new, healthy positions. Wearing your retainer regularly is the final step in producing the beautiful smile you’ve worked so hard for. Keep your retainer in your sight and clean, and don’t be hesitant to use reminders to help you develop the habit of wearing your retainer. Your retainer will thank you with a long-lasting radiant, healthy smile!

If you’ve forgotten to wear your retainer too often, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our orthodontists will assess the fit of your retainer and let you know if you’ll need a quick touch-up treatment to shift your teeth back into healthy alignment. Our friendly team is here to guide your family through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in St Petersburg or Seminole, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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