Once your braces have straightened your teeth into the proper positions, you will be ready to move into the retention and maintenance portion of your treatment plan. During this critical period, a retainer will be used to provide stability to your teeth while the surrounding soft tissues and bones have time to adjust to your new dental alignment.
At first, you will need to wear your retainer full-time for about eight to twelve weeks. If retention is successful at this point, then you may only need to wear your retainer at night. You can expect this process to take approximately one year, and we will continue to monitor your progress through regular, but less frequent, appointments. Keep in mind that this schedule may be different depending upon your individual requirements for maintaining your new smile.
Until your orthodontist says otherwise, wear your retainer full-time.
Always take your retainer out before eating, and make sure to store it in its container (wrapping it in a napkin often leads to it getting lost in the trash).
Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your retainer once a day. Make sure the water you use is warm but not hot. This helps to remove plaque and germs that can cause foul odors. It will also ensure that your clear retainers maintain their aesthetics. Remember that orthodontic cleaners, such as Efferdent, should not replace a thorough brushing.
Make sure to store your retainer in its case anytime it is out of your mouth. Pets love to chew on them, and broken retainers are preventable.
Expect some initial difficulty with speech. Sing, talk and read out loud until you feel more comfortable.
Please wear or bring your retainer to every appointment so that we can check its condition and fit.
Swimmers should remove their retainer before entering the water, and remember to store it in its case.
Heat and rough handling can damage your retainer. Never leave it in a hot car, place it in your pockets or expose it to boiling hot water.
If your retainer breaks or needs adjusting, do not try to fix it yourself. Please call us immediately.
Lost and Damaged Retainers
If you lose your retainer or feel any undesirable movement of your teeth, then we encourage you to contact us so that we can assess the retainer and arrange for a replacement. There is a fee for lost or broken retainers so it is always best to follow our instructions for care.
Wearing your retainer according to your treatment plan and taking care of it is important for maintaining your beautiful smile. Please note that discontinuing your retainer early could lead to a change in the position and fit of your teeth.
With or without orthodontic treatment, everyone experiences some changes in their teeth positions as they go through life. It is our goal to limit these changes while providing functional results that will improve the aesthetics of your smile.
We know that patient education and compliance are essential for ensuring the best results with your orthodontic treatment so please contact us by either calling at: (618) 438-2815 or visiting our location page to find an office near you today.