Your Retainers

After removing your braces a crucial part of your treatment is retention. We offer two types of retainers for retention. Plastic and Fixed retainers. For proper care and instructions please read below.

Plastic Retainer Instructions:

Retainers are used to retain the position of your teeth after you get your appliances off.

For the first 3 months you will have to wear your retainers full time, day and night. Optimal wear of 22/23hours a day. You will only be taking them off when eating and brushing your teeth.
If you are wearing your retainers well after 3 months we can move to 12 hours/nighttime wear.

If you are wearing your retainers as directed there should be minimal issues.

In the case that you are having issues please consider the following:

If retainers are not fitting all the way this means your teeth are shifting. This is your que to wear your retainers more. If this problem persists give us a call ASAP.

If your retainers are fitting loose you may curl in the edge of the retainer. This will ensure they are tight around the teeth.
If your retainers are fitting tight causing pain to your gums you may curl the edges out. This will relieve any pain.

To clean your retainers:
Use dish soap and a toothbrush to scrub them down.

If interested, check out if you are able to get free whitening at our office!

Your Fixed Retainers:

Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth and could be place on the upper and lower. Typically from canine to canine.

Although optional, we recommend fixed retainers to patients that have had spacing or crowding on the teeth. We also highly recommend fixed retainers to patients that know they will not be wearing their plastic retainers as instructed.

Wherever this wire is placed will prevent the teeth from shifting regardless of wearing the plastic retainer. Please be aware that any teeth that the fixed retainer is not placed is susceptible to shifting.

These retainers can last a lifetime.

To floss between the fixed retainer we recommend an floss threader or water pick
Retainer FAQ

General FAQ

Q: Does everyone get retainers?

Yes! After orthodontic treatment, every patient gets a retainer. Even after having braces for so long, your teeth want to lapse back to what they were when you first came in, retainers prevent that

Q: How long do I have to wear my retainers?

You have to wear your retainers for the entirety of your life to prevent any relapse.

Q: What kinds of retainers are there?

We have two types of retainers a fixed retainer and an Essix (plastic) retainer.

A fixed retainer is a permanent gold wire that is placed on the back of your teeth to ensure that no teeth are moving. We recommend fixed retainers to patients that had a lot of crowding on the top or bottom. 

Essix (plastic) retainers are plastic models of what your teeth looked like exactly when you got your braces off, everyone gets an Essix (plastic) retainer at the end of treatment. 

The Most Important Part of Retention!

The most important part of your retention is ensuring that your retainers are fitting at all times. If you notice your retainers not fitting this is your cue to wear them more often.

Essix Plastic Retainer FAQ

Q: I lost my plastic retainer! What do I do?

Give us a call ASAP! We give all our patients a model of what we made your retainer out of when you received your first retainer. If you have this we can make your retainers in 15-20 minutes. If not it’s no problem, we can go ahead and remake the models, this may take about a day. 

Q: How do I clean my retainers?

We recommend patients use dish soap and a toothbrush frequently to prevent any discoloration.

Q: Can I get another plastic retainer as a backup?

Yes! Give us a call!

Q: How many hours do I have to wear my plastic retainer?

We should let you know when you come in. Typically, when you first get your retainers you must wear them about 22/23 hours a day for 3 months. If you wore them well for the next 6 months you can wear them for about 12 hours a day. Finally, after 6 months you can wear them nightly. 

Q: My retainers don’t fit anymore. What do I do?

Give a call to our office! Your retainers usually do not fit if your teeth have moved. Try and wear them full time for 5 weeks (even if your teeth are sore). Your retainers are what your teeth looked like when you first got your braces off so the more you wear them, the more your teeth will move back to the same position they were when you got your braces off.

Fixed Retainer FAQ

Q: How do I clean around my fixed retainer?

We recommend a Waterpik or floss and a floss threader. Check out a youtube video if you need help using any of the tools!

 

Q: My fixed retainer feels like something broke.

Give a call to our office, we will have you come in and evaluate if it needs a repair.

Q: Can I get a fixed retainer after I got my braces off?

If your teeth are as straight as they were when you got your braces off we can. If not we will have to complete retreatment before we can do so.

Q: How long do I have my fixed retainer?

Fixed retainers can last your whole lifetime. They will stay attached to the back of your teeth until it breaks or until you would like to remove them. If you would like to remove your fixed retainer, give us a call!

 

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