Upon completion of your active orthodontic treatment there is much to celebrate. However, all of the work is not done. The retention period is just as important as the active movement phase of your treatment process. Once the teeth have been moved into the desired position, a period of time is needed to stabilize the teeth so that the surrounding bone and soft tissues conform to your new dental alignment.
When the retainers are initially placed, following completion of the orthodontic treatment, they provide the very important function of holding the teeth in one position for a period of time. This allows the surrounding bone and gum tissue to "tighten up" and adapt.
Keeping your retainer in a case will prevent loss or damage. Brush the retainer with cool water and soak it in dental cleanser or mouthwash periodically to keep it fresh. Never put it in hot water. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinse off the retainer and place it back in your mouth or in your case. Call us right away if you break or lose your retainer.
Faithful wear of your retainers will ensure that you enjoy a long term benefit from your orthodontic treatment. It is also important to know that, even with full compliance to your recommended retainer regimen, some small amount of movement is considered normal.
Here Are A Few Things To Remember During Retainer Wear
- Don't fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant. Garbage cans don't make happy hunting grounds.
- Don't put your retainer in your pocket. You might sit on it and break it. OUCH!
- Take your retainer out when swimming. If it falls out you may not be able to find it.
- Animals and younger children love to play with (and chew on) retainers. Keep your retainers out of the reach of animals and small children.
- Bring your retainers to your check-up appointment. If anything happens to your retainers (i.e. it doesn't fit, it's broken, or it's lost) please call us ASAP. If your lower bonded retainer wire comes out, keep it and bring it in at your next appointment for rebonding.
- The first set of retainers is included in your treatment fee. If you lose or break your retainers an additional charge may be assessed for new retainers.
- Keep things clean! Be sure to brush your teeth without your retainers in. Do not boil your retainer or put it in hot water. Brush your retainer with a toothbrush using toothpaste or water.
Padraig Dennehy D.M.D. is a fourth generation Montanan, having been born and raised in Butte, MT...
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