Now that your active orthodontic treatment has been completed and your braces have been removed, you have now been provided with orthodontic retainers. Retainers are used to keep the teeth in their corrected position. Removable retainers can also be used to make minor changes in tooth position to slightly modify the fit of the teeth. Here are some key points about retainers to keep in mind:
- Retainers must be worn 12 hours a day for the first several months, after which they are to be worn at nighttime. Remember, teeth can move- you don’t want yours to move! Failure to wear retainers as directed, even for a short time, can result in rapid change.
- Retainers can be removed for eating, brushing, or contact sports. When not wearing retainers, place them in the case we provide to keep them safe. Unprotected retainers will be crushed in your pocket, your backpack, or your locker.
- Do not wrap your retainers in a napkin or leave them on a tray in a restaurant. Be sure to put them in the case and place it in your purse or pocket. It is no fun to look through the garbage at Burger King or McDonald's.
- Keep retainers clean by brushing them with your toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brush and rinse them over the sink and replace them after brushing and flossing your teeth. This should be done after each meal and before bedtime. Occasionally, an overnight denture cleaner such as Efferdent may be required to keep your retainers looking great. DO NOT place them in boiling water, the dishwasher or the microwave to clean!
- Dogs LOVE retainers. We have heard countless stories of Fido munching on retainers. Beware of dogs (and cats too!).
- Please bring your retainers to ALL appointments. They may need adjustment and we know how to do them.
- There will be a charge to replace lost or broken retainers. Retainers are fragile and expensive, but they should last years if cared for properly.
Call our office immediately if you have questions, problems, or if your teeth are shifting.