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How to Make a Retainer Feel More Comfortable

Updated April 17, 2017

If you've spent money straightening your, or your child's, teeth, it's frustrating to think of its going to waste after the braces are removed. A retainer is used to keep newly straightened teeth in their correct places until they're used to the adjustment and stop moving. Retainers have become much more comfortable over the years, but can still cause problems, particularly after their periodic adjustments.

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  1. Tell your orthodontist about any discomfort when he initially fits you with your retainer. He'll be able to tell if it needs to be adjusted or if it's something that you'll get used to over time.

  2. Brush your retainer once or more daily with a toothbrush, toothpaste and cool water. A clean retainer is more comfortable than a dirty one.

  3. Rinse your retainer and mouth with mouthwash once or more times per day for freshness. Your retainer will be more comfortable in your mouth if it feels fresh and clean.

  4. Take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, if the retainer becomes too uncomfortable. Follow package instructions and consult your orthodontist before using.

  5. Care for your retainer properly so that it doesn't get bent out of shape, which can make it more uncomfortable. Keep it in its protective case and away from sources of heat when you're not using it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Cool water
  • Mouthwash
  • Pain reliever

About the Author

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