About This QuizOrthodontists can maneuver your teeth into compliance, and using a retainer is usually an important and, often, final step in that process. In this quiz, you'll test your knowledge of how to care for a retainer. Remember: The better you care for your retainer, the smoother your path to a better smile will be.
True or false: If you get braces, you won't need a retainer.
Most people, after having braces removed, will need to use a retainer for a period of time.
Why do we need retainers, if braces make corrections in our smiles?
Without retainers, all the work accomplished through use of braces would be undone.
Teeth begin to shift back to their original positions once braces are removed, and retainers prevent this.
Braces simply prepare the teeth for retainers, which do the real work.
Retainers keep your teeth from getting damaged in the future.
Clear retainers are made of what?
When it's warmed up, you can bite down on thermoplastic material, which will leave a permanent impression of your teeth once it cools.
Retainers come in which of the following size options?
adult size or child size
small, medium and large
Each retainer is custom fit to the person who will wear it.
Retainers are individually fitted based on molds taken of a patient's mouth.
During meals, you should:
eat with your retainer in
remove the retainer and carefully place it in a napkin
remove the retainer and store it in its retainer case
Keep your retainer in its protective casing during meals! If you wrap it up in a napkin, you can kiss it goodbye — you'll spend the rest of your night digging through restaurant trash cans.
Which of the following should you use to disinfect your retainer?
Disinfect your retainer by soaking it in hot -- never boiling -- water, preferably along with a denture cleansing tablet.
How often should you disinfect your retainer?
at least once a week, if not daily
Disinfect your retainer with a cleansing soak every day if possible, or once a week at the very least.
after each meal
At first, your new retainer will:
feel kind of uncomfortable and make you salivate like crazy
Your new retainer will take some getting used to. Before too long, your mouth will adjust, and the saliva production will return to normal levels.
cause numbness in the tongue
When should you wear your retainer?
at all times
only at night
as directed by your orthodontist
Every patient will have individual needs when it comes to retainer use -- you may start off wearing it all the time, and then taper off to night-time use only.
Not wearing your retainer right away after your braces come off:
is frowned upon, but shouldn't make a difference
is a good idea, because it allows your teeth and gums a chance to heal
could allow your teeth to shift back to their prior positions, undoing your orthodontic work
Wear your retainer as soon as directed by your orthodontist, or your teeth and gums could revert back to their old positioning.