The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime with proper retention protocol.
Why are Retainers needed?
Teeth continue to move throughout life, regardless if someone has had braces or not. Wisdom teeth can also ruin a patient’s beautiful smile. Also, as you get older, the muscles that surround your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd. Because teeth can continue to move, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for 6 months following the removal of braces. After approximately 6 months, the patient can wear the retainer just at night. Dr. Ma, Dr. Hergott & Dr. Riekenbrauk will continue to monitor the fit of the retainers for the first 2 years.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
Caring for retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Keep away from any family pets… they like to chew on them!
- Retainers are breakable, please treat them with care.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. Avoid using toothpaste on your retainer. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Ma, Dr. Hergott & Dr. Riekenbrauk prescribe. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check ups. Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.