Orthodontic treatment does not stop once the braces come off? To make sure your treatments lasts, keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Getting your removable retainer
Shortly after the removal of orthodontic appliances, patients will receive retainers to maintain their dental correction. Securing the teeth in their new positioning takes several months after braces are removed. For this reason, it is crucial for patients to wear their retainers as directed without exception. Failure to do so could cause the teeth to migrate and treatment to start again.
Wearing your retainer
Due to the fact that teeth can move throughout life, there is no specific time-frame in which patients who have undergone orthodontic therapy should stop wearing their retainer. The general rule is that patients should wear retainers full-time for one year after their braces have been removed. One year later, patients can reduce wear to evenings only – allowing the wisdom teeth to grow without interrupting the patient’s smile.
Once a decision has been reached regarding the wisdom teeth, recommendations for retainer wear will be adjusted. With age, the muscles surrounding the teeth will cause them to move. For this reason, retainers can be worn at least one night per week indefinitely.
Caring for your retainer
- It is important to keep your retainer away from heat. Retainers are made of thermoplastic material and can be manipulated if exposed to temperatures more than 115 degrees (Fº).
- When not in your mouth, be sure to keep your retainer in the prescribed case for safe keeping.
- Keep your retainer out of reach from family pets – they love to chew on just about anything.
- Retainers are porous. Because of this, it is important to clean your retainer before and after use. Gently scrub your retainer with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap to remove plaque from the surface. Efferdent, a denture cleaning solution, is best recommended to remove plaque and tartar. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Years of retainer use can expect occasional replacement. At Davoody and Hablinski Orthodontics, our orthodontic treatment includes one set of retainers after braces are removed. Lost or stolen retainers will be charged for replacement. Contact our office immediately if the retainers become loose or break.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
Fixed retainers are positioned to stay on forever – unless your family dentist determines it is not being cared for properly and is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. Should this occur, a removable retainer will be prescribed and the wire will be removed. As mentioned earlier, removable retainers should be worn as prescribed by Dr. Davoody and Dr. Hablinski.
Bonded wires serve as protection for the teeth as the patient ages facial muscles get tighter. For best results, it is recommended to have this wire checked every six months by your family dentist.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instruments with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Helping you make sure your healthy, beautiful smile lasts for a lifetime is our goal. We’ll do our part, but we need your cooperation in order to achieve the results you’ve been waiting for.
Dental examinations and cleanings
Having a solid at-home oral hygiene routine is crucial to the success of your orthodontic treatment. To maintain good oral health, your routine should include thorough brushing and flossing techniques and a visit every six months to your general dentist for cleanings and dental examinations.