When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Retainers: Instructions and Care
Wear: Wear your retainers 24 hours daily. The only exceptions are when eating or cleaning them, participating in contact sports or water activities. DO NOT REMOVE/POP OUT YOUR RETAINERS WITH YOUR TONGUE! The wire will break, which will necessitate a new retainer. After approximately 6 months you will be able to wear your retainers at night only. Night time wear is determined by the doctor and is based on the stability of your teeth.
Cleaning: To keep your retainers clean, brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste each time you brush. The retainers get a plaque build-up and odor if they are not kept clean. At least rinse retainers off with cool water after each meal. For special care, you can use Retainer Brite or a denture cleanser such as Efferdent, or soak it in an alcohol-free mouthwash and water mixture. This will give it a fresh taste.
Pets: Keep retainers away from all animals: dogs, cats, etc. Animals like to eat retainers.
Protective Case: A protective case is provided for you. Always keep retainers in the protective case when they’re not in your mouth. Never wrap retainers in a napkin. You will forget about them and they are easily mistaken for trash and thrown away. Also never put your appliance in a pocket or your backpack where it may be bent, or even crushed. They are costly to replace.
Avoid Heat: The appliance will melt or warp if it gets hot. Never leave it in a hot car or leave it by a stove or other heater. NEVER put it in boiling water or hot tap water.
Saliva: Remember, you will have extra saliva for the first few days. This is normal. Initially, your mouth doesn’t realize that this retainer is not a piece of food. This sensation will go away after approximately 3 days of continuous wear.
Speech: Your speech will be somewhat slurred at first. It will be back to normal within a week if you are wearing your retainers full time. Try reading aloud and talking more slowly. The most important thing to remember is to keep the retainers in as much as possible during this period.
Loss or Breakage: If the retainers are lost, broken, or irritating your mouth, please contact the office right away. There is a fee for lost or broken retainers.
Fit: Your retainers should feel snug if you are wearing them properly. They don’t change in size, but your teeth can shift. Please wear your retainer as prescribed by the doctor to prevent shifting. The longer you have been out of braces, the less often you will be required to wear them.