The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you wear your retainers.
Please keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the orthodontic appliances are removed retainers are custom fitted to maintain the orthodontic results. The bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth continue to stabilize after braces are removed. It’s important to wear the retainers as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement or “relapse” of the teeth.
How Orthodontic Retainers are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, patients should wear their retainers indefinitely. After a relatively short period of time, retainers may be worn only at night while sleeping. Some people aren’t comfortable sleeping with their retainers in place. For these patients we recommend wearing the retainers at least 4-6 hours during the day.
Dr. Hage will check the retainers at six month intervals during the first year after treatment is completed.
How to Care for Orthodontic Retainers
- Retainers are made of plastic that is sensitive to excessive heat. They should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case.
- Keep your retainers away from family pets.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. A good denture cleaning solution (such as Efferdent) will help remove plaque and tartar.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. During the first year after treatment we will replace your retainers free of charge for normal wear and tear. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there is a charge for replacement. Please contact our office immediately if the retainers become loose or break.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
Removable plastic retainers are the best option for a majority of patients. For certain people a fixed or bonded retainer is a “long-term” solution and can be left in place for years. Poor oral hygiene with bonded retainers can lead to tooth decay, gum disease or bone loss. They are difficult to maintain and require periodic evaluation by Dr. Hage or your family dentist.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home. The family dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.