After braces or Invisalign, retainer use and care are pivotal to maintaining your smile. Visit Kattner Orthodontics in Gurnee, IL to learn more!

How Do I Take Care Of My Retainer?

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How Do I Take Care Of My Retainer?
Posted on 10/11/2018

How Do I Take Care Of My Retainer?

After investing months and months into your orthodontic treatment through braces or Invisalign, it seems foolish to abandon all care for your teeth. But remembering to wear your retainer can be difficult, and knowing how to care for your retainer can be yet another obstacle. Kattner Orthodontics, your go-to provider for braces and Invisalign in Gurnee, IL, is ready and eager to keep your orthodontic care on track in the post-braces phase.

Wear Your Retainer


The simplest, but also most difficult, step in the post-braces stage is to wear your retainer. Follow the instructions provided by Dr. Kattner and his staff to determine the schedule for your retainer use. Often, this entails frequent use immediately after graduation from braces or

Invisalign. Over time, and with the approval of your orthodontist, the schedule of retainer use thins out and may only require nightly use. As always, consult with your orthodontist for details about your specific retainer use.

Tips For Remembering Your Retainer

Creating a habit of wearing a retainer is like any other habit—it takes time. The following tips can help you remember to wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist:

  • Cell Phone Reminders
  • Set a Retainer Spot
  • Leave Notes
  • Find a Retainer Buddy!

Store Retainer Safely

One of the most important things you can do to protect your retainer is to store it properly. When you remove your retainer from your mouth, immediately store it in its case. Many people store their retainers in napkins out of convenience during meals. This often leads to accidentally disposing of your retainer. Make a habit of bringing your storage case with you at all times and immediately putting the retainer in your case whenever you remove it.

Keep It Clean!

Keeping your retainer clean is one of the best things you can do to make your post-braces experience comfortable and effective. In order to make the retainer routine more clear, your braces and Invisalign experts at Kattner Orthodontics compiled the following suggestions:

  1. Brush your retainer (and your teeth) after each meal. Use a toothbrush, warm water, and a cotton swab, if necessary, to clean the deepest grooves.
  2. Dr. Kattner also recommends the use of a denture cleaner or retainer cleaner a few times each week. Efferdent or Polident work fine - be sure to adhere to the instructions for how long to soak found on the package instructions. Soaking the retainer for longer than recommended can damage the integrity of your orthodontic devices.
  3. Clean your retainer case! Cleaning your case daily can reduce the likelihood of bacteria and smells that can accumulate in your case.

Continue Checkups with Orthodontist


Just like when you wore braces or Invisalign, regular checkups with an orthodontist are important to make sure your orthodontic treatment is on the right track. After braces, during post-orthodontic care, Dr. Kattner can assist in the maintenance, modification, and monitoring of your retainer and teeth. If your retainer is especially worn out, dirty, or no longer fits as originally intended, contact Kattner Orthodontics to make the adjustments needed or to be fitted for a replacement!

Visit Your Waukegan, IL Orthodontist!


At Kattner Orthodontics, we strive to give you the treatment and the tools to make your orthodontic care effective throughout your life. Whether you need braces, Invisalign, or post-braces treatment such as retainers or checkups, we can help! Schedule an appointment today or stop by our Waukegan, IL office to meet with our family orthodontist. We can’t wait to see you smile!