When you’ve completed the moving part of your treatment, you’re ready for the holding part! The next few months are the most critical part of your treatment! Your retainer is designed to hold your teeth in their corrected position until the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth “fill in” and make them “solid.” If we do not retain (or hold) the teeth following orthodontic tooth movement, the teeth will move back towards their old positions and all that time wearing braces would be wasted.
If your retainer is going to do the job, here are the things you must do:
- Wear your retainers all the time, until Dr. Irving Eckstein and Dr. Azariy Yusupov instruct otherwise.
- Take your retainers out only when eating… and always put retainers in their case! Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants. NEVER wrap the retainer in a napkin or tissue, as they may be thrown away. If you put them in your pocket, they will break when you sit down. Also, Pets love to chew on them, so keep them out of reach!
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and warm water. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster. However, in 2 or 3 days, your speech will return to normal.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
- Retainer replacement is costly… with proper care they will last for years!
Even after braces, you will still need appointments. You will have fewer office visits but checking your retainer is still very important. Always remember to bring your retainer to every appointment. If you lose or break a retainer, please call us immediately. The teeth will move if the retainers are not worn as instructed.