Completing orthodontic treatment is an exciting milestone! The journey to a straight, healthy smile took a lot of time and money, and keeping your teeth straight is the best way to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment. Because of this, many patients receive a dental retainer to wear at night –– but if we’re honest, remembering to actually wear your orthodontic retainer is easier said than done.
It’s common to forget to wear your orthodontic retainer every now and then. We all get busy or simply forget to wear the retainers, and the good news is that missing a night or two occasionally isn’t likely to cause too many problems. But, if you forget to wear your dental retainer too often, your teeth could shift back into the improper position. This may require you to undergo orthodontic treatment again, and we know that isn’t something anyone wants to do!
Today we’re rounding up the best tips to help you remember to wear your orthodontic retainer and keep your beautiful smile straight and healthy for years to come!
Practice Makes Perfect
Or at the very least, practice makes a habit. Until you make it a habitual practice, it can be difficult to remember to wear your dental retainer to bed. Consistency is key when it comes to creating healthy habits in your life, and wearing your retainer is no different. By practicing some simple tips, you’ll be on your way to making this a key part of your nighttime routine.
Set a Reminder
There are no shortage of apps that can help you set reminders for yourself. Schedule your reminder notification to pop up when you are usually heading to bed, and don’t clear the notification from your homescreen till those retainers are properly placed in your mouth.
Don’t want to use the reminders app on your cell phone? Siri, Alexa, and Google can help remind you, too! You can also set up email reminders if you find them to be more helpful.
Location, Location, Location
To help make this habit stick, be sure to keep your dental retainer in the same place every morning when you take it out. This will provide you with a visual reminder before bed and prevent you from having to hunt down your retainer when you’re already tired and ready to crawl under the covers.
Ask for Help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Your loved ones were just as committed to your orthodontic treatment as you and want to help you succeed in keeping those pearly whites straight. Whether you ask a parent, sibling, roommate, or spouse, we’re sure you can find someone who would be happy to remind you to put in your retainer before you go to bed.
Keep it Clean
As you get into the practice of wearing your retainer each night, don’t neglect cleaning your retainer every time you remove it. Gentle brush the retainer with a soft-bristled brush and rinse it with warm water. Keeping your retainer clean will make you more likely to to wear it.
Use a Note
Let’s be honest: sometimes technology fails us, and even the best intentions are enough to remind us to wear those retainers when we’re tired and ready for bed. As a last-ditch effort to make wearing your retainer a habit, use sticky notes to leave a reminder for yourself. Place one on the bathroom mirror, on your nightstand, or anywhere else you’re likely to see it before bed.
Wearing your retainer consistently is the best way to keep your smile straight. If you’re concerned about your teeth shifting back into their improper position or if your retainer feels tight or uncomfortable, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
We love helping our patients feel more confident by restoring their smiles. Our friendly team of specialists at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado has years of experience in relieving tooth pain and keeping our patients comfortable in the process. Contact us today to learn how we can transform your smile!