The day has finally come. You have been wearing your braces for a while now, and your teeth are finally in proper alignment. It is finally time to have your braces removed. Once your braces come off, you will finally be able to show off the beautiful smile you have always wanted. However, while braces are a highly effective treatment, it is still possible for your teeth to shift back out of place. This is where retainers come in. At Bisson Dentistry, we can provide you with the retainers you need following orthodontic treatment, enabling you to maintain your beautiful smile for a lifetime.
As soon as your braces are removed from your teeth, we provide you with a removable retainer. This retainer is made from a mold of your mouth. It consists of a thermoplastic base that sits against the palate of your mouth and wires that surround your teeth. The retainer is designed to help stabilize your teeth in their new alignment. Wearing your retainer as instructed is imperative for keeping your brand new smile. Failure to do so could result in your teeth shifting back out of alignment, ruining your new smile and leading to the need for new orthodontic treatment.
For a while, after your braces come off, you will be instructed to wear your braces day and night. The only time the retainer should come out is to eat or to brush and floss your teeth and clean your retainer. When you remove it to eat, it is important to remember that you have it so that it does not accidentally get thrown away. We will instruct you on how long the retainer should be worn all of the time.
Eventually, you will only need to wear your retainer at night. The length of time it takes to go from all day and night wear to just night wear varies from patient to patient. Wearing your retainer only at night is often easier for many patients, but it is important that you do not forget to put it in before bed. For the best retention of your teeth, consistent wear is important.
Care for Your Retainer
Taking care of your retainer is essential. Even though you remove it when you eat, the retainer can still collect bacteria, plaque and other debris that can quickly lead to gum disease. It should be cleaned before and after each use. Brush the retainer gently with a toothbrush and mild soap. Denture cleaning solution can also be effective. Avoid using toothpaste, as the abrasives it contains can scratch the base of the retainer.
When not in use, store your retainer in a hard protective case, out of reach from curious children or playful pets. Do not place your retainer anywhere that it can be exposed to high heat. It does well in the mouth, but temperatures over 115 degrees can quickly ruin it. Avoid storing it in your car, and do not wash it in the dishwasher.
As wearing a retainer is often a lifelong commitment, it will occasionally need to be replaced. If your retainer is lost or damaged, it is important to contact us immediately to receive a new one.
What about fixed retainers?
Fixed retainers are wires that are secured into place with brackets that are bonded to the backs of your teeth. These wires are often meant to be permanent, unless we determine otherwise, and are meant to provide stronger retention. They can help to keep your teeth in proper alignment in situations such as bruxism, playing a reed instrument, spaces between your teeth before orthodontic treatment, and teeth that were severely rotated. Taking care around your fixed retainer will help to ensure that no buildup accrues under the wire and around the brackets, keeping your new smile happy and healthy.
Wearing a retainer following braces helps to ensure the longevity of your beautiful results following your orthodontic treatment. For more information, call Bisson Dentistry at (226) 706-8851 today.