A very important part of your treatment follows the removal of your braces or appliances. This phase is known as Retention and is crucial in order to maintain the results gained through orthodontic treatment. In order to be successful during this phase, make sure to follow the instructions below:
- Wear your retainer exactly as specified by the doctor and staff. This is typically all of the time during the first 3-4 months after your braces are removed, followed by indefinite night-time wear.
- When you first get your retainers, make sure to practice reading out loud, singing and talking to help get you used to them quicker.
- Remove your retainer when eating and place it in its travel case. Keep in mind that most appliances are lost in school cafeterias or restaurants. Remember the golden rule “In the case, or in your face!”
- Brush your retainer daily with toothpaste and a toothbrush to keep it as clean as possible, thereby reducing odors and plaque accumulation. You can use warm water, but avoid hot water as this can distort your appliance. Over-the-counter products like Efferdent can also be helpful, but these cleaners should never take the place of brushing.
- Be sure to remove your retainers when swimming, rough-housing, or playing physical sports where a properly fitting mouth guard should be worn.
- Keep your retainers away from pockets, napkins, hot water, and dashboards of hot cars.
- Keep your retainers away from pets. They love to snack on them!
- Handle your retainers with care as they are delicate and can break easily
- Phone our office right away if your retainer is distorted, broken or lost. Please do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Remember to bring your retainer with you for each appointment.
Please don’t hesitate to call us if you feel that your retainer needs to be adjusted or if you have any questions or concerns. If properly cared for, retainers can last many years. On the other hand, if you do not take proper care of your appliance, replacement may be required which can be fairly expensive.