If you’ve recently completed your time in braces, congratulations on a job well done. However, your orthodontic treatment is not done yet. There’s nothing worse than sabotaging your hard work and patience by not wearing your retainers, or not wearing them properly, after months or years in braces.
Many patients are so elated to have their brackets and bands off that they overlook the fact that their orthodontic treatment is not truly over. Your smile may look the way you want it to, but the retention phase of your treatment ensures it stays that way.
Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in their corrected positions until the bones and gums adapt to the change. Your teeth will naturally shift to some degree after your braces are off. Therefore, to protect your new straight smile, it is imperative that take your retainer seriously.
The golden rule of retention is that you can never wear your retainers too much or too long! Follow these general rules for wearing your removable retainer:
- Wear your retainer exactly as instructed (which may be 8 consecutive hours or more every day for the first year.
- Keep your retainers in its case unless it is in your mouth!
- Attend your retainer appointments at our office so that we can monitor your progress and perhaps lessen the hours per day you need to wear your retainer.
- Keep your retainers clean – Brush them with toothpaste daily. You may soak them in warm (not hot) water with a denture tablet for optimal freshness.
- If your dentist performs a filling, bonding or other procedure that may change the shape of your teeth in the slightest way, make sure your retainer still fits properly afterwards.
- If you lose or break your retainer, don’t wait to get a replacement. Your teeth could shift in the process.
- Your retainer can be removed when eating as well as during contact sports or swimming.
- Always tell your orthodontist if your retainer is not fitting well or is painful to wear.
Your retainers are vital to your overall smile straightening results, and they are not cheap. Protect the investment you are making in your smile and stay diligent with the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment. If you have more questions about how to wear or care for your retainer, call Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry.
Posted on behalf of
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
Phone: (770) 521-2100Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm