The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you wear your retainers. We encourage wearing retainers daily for the rest of your life as long as you want your teeth and smile to stay great. To make sure that happens, you have important responsibilities as a patient post-treatment, which are outlined below.
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 solidifying and being stabilized 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 lead to re-treatment.
How Orthodontic Retainers are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we recommend that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely.
After approximately one year, the patient can wear the orthodontic retainer just at night. Dr. Ryann and Dr. Hudson will see retainer patients periodically and, when ready, can do a follow-up evaluation of wisdom teeth if the dentist hasn’t already.
How to Care for Orthodontic Retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards, or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with your toothbrush and any leftover toothpaste after you’ve brushed your teeth is sufficient for daily maintenance.
If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately. If patients take care of their retainers, we have seen some last over 35 years!
These are NOT permanent. They must be taken care of just like braces. No eating hard or sticky foods that can break the glue or the wire. If your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems, we will remove it for you. As long as the removable retainers are worn as Dr. Hudson and Dr. Ryann prescribes, there will be no issues removing the Glued-in Retainer. Not every patient is a candidate to have a glued-in retainer. The doctors can explain why at any time before, during, or after treatment.