The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you follow instructions from your orthodontist:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the teeth and keep them in their new position. It is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed as teeth have a natural tendency, if left alone, to return to their original position. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could result in the need for re-treatment.
How to Wear Retainers
Teeth can continue to move throughout life. Individuals who have undergone orthodontic treatment should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers full time for six months following the removal of braces. After approximately six months, the patient can wear the retainer just at night.
How to Care for Retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat.
- Retainers should be kept in the retainer case when not in use.
- Keep out of reach of children and animals.
- Clean before and after use. The material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush or a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque & bacteria.
Retainers are worn for many years, and for this reason, they will need periodic replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
The bonded fixed retainer remains on the lower teeth for many years. The fixed wire will protect the teeth from additional, unneeded movement as the patient gets older. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your 6 month check ups.
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 instrument 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.
Dental Examinations and Cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home and see their dentist at least every 6 months for cleaning and dental examinations.