One day in the not so distant future, your braces will be removed. When you are finished wearing braces, your retention phase begins. Wearing your retainer is a critical and imperative part of your orthodontic plan. We want to your beautiful new smile to last a lifetime! To achieve this, our orthodontist will design and make retainers that fit your teeth precisely to stabilize and preserve the results you have worked so hard for.
What is a Retainer?
A retainer is made of plastic and metal and is custom designed for each child or adult to wear once their braces are removed. Since teeth are not yet set rigidly in the jaw bone, they will start to move and shift as soon as your braces are removed. The goal of the orthodontic retention phase is to minimize changes after the braces come off.
How to care for your retainer:
You will have to care for your retainers just like you cared for other appliances in your mouth. Most retainers are removable so you will have to keep track of them as well. Retainers will be most effective if you follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on wear and care.
Follow these tips:
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- At least once a week, disinfect the retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser
- Add the cleanser to a cup full of warm, but never hot, water.
- Thoroughly rinse the retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth.
- Always store your retainers in the case provided.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, napkins and especially pets.
Retention is the most important part of treatment. Proper wear of your retainers is critical to prevent your teeth from shifting. At Parks Orthodontics, our doctors recommends that retainers be worn indefinitely!
The final orthodontic result depends on consistent retainer wear. It makes great sense to maintain the hard work you’ve put in so far. If you have any questions about your retainers or their fit, call Parks Orthodontics today (757) 874-6655.