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Through the course of your routine adjustment sessions with your VIP Smiles orthodontist, your braces have given you a perfect smile. Now they can now be removed and you can show your new smile to the world!

However, there will still be a modest amount of residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in the sockets. If this tension is not addressed and mitigated in some way, your teeth will slip out of their new position in a process known as relapse. To this end, you will need to use a retainer for a while to help hold your teeth in position long enough for the residual tension to subside.

If you only needed braces to provide a small amount of realignment for your teeth, your orthodontist might recommend a clear plastic retainer. This style of the retainer is very similar to aligner trays like Invisalign®. The clear plastic material makes it hard for the casual observer to even notice you’re wearing it.

Most people need to use a retainer for about the same amount of time they needed to have braces. By keeping your new clear plastic retainer clean and wearing it at the necessary times, you can keep the total duration of time you need to use it to the bare minimum.

While you are wearing your clear plastic retainer you can drink normally. When eating, you will need to take the retainer out. When you’re not wearing it, you should keep it in the case provided, rather than improvise with something like a plastic bag or napkin.

When you take your clear plastic retainer out, you should rinse it under running water to remove lingering food particles and plaque. Each night you can refresh it by soaking it in a mixture of half cold water and half antiseptic mouthwash. If you notice a little plaque buildup, you should lightly brush the retainer with a soft toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Try to avoid using abrasive toothpaste as this could dull the plastic material and make it more noticeable when you’re wearing it.

If you have any questions about how to properly take care of your clear plastic retainer, you can always call VIP Smiles’s clinic in Syracuse, Utah at 801-776-3000 to ask a question.