The purpose of retainers is to hold the teeth in their newly aligned positions after the braces are removed. It is important to know that your teeth will be under pressure to move back to where they used to be due to the "memory" of the gum tissue. In addition, as people get older there is a general tendency for teeth to shift towards the front of the mouth and become crowded. This occurs whether or not one has had braces and is due to biting pressure. Therefore, retainers are very important to minimize any movement that could take place.
When and for how long should I wear my retainer?
Basically they need to be worn enough to keep them "fitting". In general this means full-time wear, except for eating and brushing, during the first month. Nighttime wear is then sufficient after this initial period. We recommend that our patients wear their retainers nightly and for as long as they have teeth. Specific cases may require additional wear. Please always follow your Doctor's orders.
What should I do to take care of my retainer?
Brush them thoroughly twice a day, preferably with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm (not hot) soapy water or toothpaste. An occasional 5 minute soak in you favorite mouthwash will keep them fresh. Also if you find that tartar is building up on your retainers, soak them for 20-30 minutes in white vinegar and then brush thoroughly. If a wire gets bent or the plastic becomes cracked or broken, please call for an appointment immediately!
Why am I talking funny again?
You may find yourself lisping at first, this is temporary until your tongue learns to adapt to them. Reading out loud for 5 to 10 minutes at night for the first week will help immensely.
What can I eat while wearing my retainers?
Do not eat or chew gum while wearing your retainers and avoid flipping them around with your tongue these activities will weaken the retainers and make them more prone to breakage. When your retainers are not in your mouth they should be in the case provided.
What if I break or lose my retainers?
If you lose or break your retainers there will be a fee to repair or replace them.
After the removal of your braces it is important that you keep up with your oral hygiene and wear your retainer. Don't forget to visit your dentist for regular checkup and cleaning.