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Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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After spending the time and money on braces to give yourself or your child a healthier smile, the last thing you want is for that work to go to waste. Your orthodontist has likely informed you about your retainer, including how long you should wear it, how to clean it, and when you can take it out.

But a more in-depth explanation of when and how you can take out your retainer may help you keep your appliance functioning properly. Continue reading to learn how to take out a retainer, clean it, and ensure that it remains a safeguard against unwanted treatment regression.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

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Why Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?

A lot of patients ask this question after their braces are first removed. Though it may seem daunting to add a retainer to your permanent dental care schedule, retainers ensure that the changes made by your braces stay permanent.

The ligaments that hold teeth in place will remember where they used to be. Gradually, they will shift the teeth back to their original, unhealthy positions. Without a retainer, you will eventually lose your straight smile and all the benefits it provides, including protection against cavities, jaw pain, speech impediments, tooth decay, and more.

Depending on the severity of your original condition, you may not have to wear your retainer as long as someone else. However, everyone must wear it for 22 hours per day for at least 2 months after their braces come off. This schedule then relaxes depending on your orthodontist’s recommendations at your follow-up appointment.

How Do I Put and Take Out a Retainer?

Putting in a retainer is simple. Since the appliance is molded from your teeth, it should fit snugly all around the edges. Gently push the retainer up into your teeth with both thumbs, using gentle pressure down to the back to make sure it attaches to the molars too.

Removing the retainer is just as easy. Use your fingertip to pull the appliance off your back molars to loosen it and take it out the rest of the way.

How Do I Store My Retainer?

Knowing when to take out your retainer is important to keeping it safe. Remember that you should never wear it while eating, drinking anything other than water, or playing contact sports. These activities could damage or stain the retainer, making it less pleasant to wear or even less effective at retaining your smile.

Storing your retainer is an important part of taking it out since retainers dry out in the open air. Additionally, loose retainers could be chewed by a dog, thrown away by mistake, stepped on, or lost. Keep the dedicated retainer case provided by your orthodontist so that you always know where you put your appliance while it’s out.

How Do I Clean My Retainer?

Properly cleaning your retainer is another important aspect of its care. When you take it out, always rinse it with warm or cool water. Scalding water could warp the plastic and ruin the appliance.

When cleaning it, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a premade retainer cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Never use colored soap as this can stain the appliance and make it taste bitter. You should also never use toothpaste, which often contains abrasive material that cleans teeth but scratches and ruins acrylic.

What if I Have a Permanent Retainer?

Not all retainers are removable. You may have opted for permanent or lingual retainers, which are fixed with dental cement to the back of one or both of your arches. Despite the name, these retainers sometimes need to be taken out as well.

Permanent retainers have to be removed by a dental professional. They may do so to do a deep cleaning, replace a broken retainer, or diagnose your mouth pain. Never remove a permanent retainer on your own, as this can damage your teeth.

Visit your orthodontist if your permanent retainer has come loose or is bothering you. While some discomfort can be expected, retainers should never hurt.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.

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Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
click here to read reese orthodontic reviews
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reese orthodontics west ashley sc

Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

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Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).