Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.
Here are some important facts about retainers:
- Retainers should be worn for your lifetime; if they are, you can keep your teeth straight and beautiful for the rest of your life.
- In the beginning, wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise. Usually a switch to night-time only wear will be allowed after 6 months of good retainer wear.
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing aloud to get used to them faster.
- Take your retainers out when eating… and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or at restaurants when they are left on a tray, wrapped in a napkin, and thrown away.)
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and pets (they love to chew on retainers!)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush. Use warm (but not hot) water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors.
- If tartar or stain starts to build up on the retainers, you can order Retainer Brite online from amazon.com or use denture cleaner from the grocery store.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately to prevent shifting of your teeth.
- If you notice that your permanent retainer has become loose from one of your teeth, call us so that it can be repaired. If it is left loose, your teeth can shift.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, do not try to adjust them yourself- call us!
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.