The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Removable Orthodontic Retainers
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How orthodontic retainers are worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for six weeks following the removal of braces.
After approximately six weeks, the patient can wear the retainer just at night. The muscles that surround your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd, therefore, the patient should continue to wear their retainer at night for the rest of their life.
Facts about orthodontic retainers
- Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but these do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing aloud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove when swimming and playing sports.
- Keep them away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
- Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set after the braces are removed. If they are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If you loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instruments with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.