Monday, December 20, 2021

Handle Your Retainer with Care

Like most patients at Kelly Orthodontics, you are probably counting down the days until you get your braces off. It’s no question that when that day comes, it will be exciting. But…it is important to remember that just because your braces have been removed, that doesn’t mean your orthodontic treatment is over.

Retainers will need to be worn following the removal of your braces to prevent the teeth from shifting. It is vital to follow Dr. Kelly’s instructions carefully after you have had your orthodontic treatment completed to ensure long-standing results.

Unfortunately, braces do not guarantee that your orthodontic treatment results will be permanent. In fact, teeth have a natural tendency to move back into their original place after the forces holding them have been removed. Without a retainer, it is likely that the teeth will go back to their prior misalignment shortly after having your braces removed. A retainer helps to keep your teeth aligned until they have set firmly into place.

Retainer use will continue indefinitely. The amount of time that you must spend wearing your retainer will depend on how long it has been since you had your braces removed. In most situations, you will be required to wear your retainer as often as possible for the first 3 to 6 months after your braces have been removed. After this, it is recommended that you wear your retainer nightly for the next 1 to 3 years. Failing to wear your retainer for a day or two won’t cause significant issues but failing to wear your retainer for extended periods of time will cause your teeth to move out of alignment.

There two main types of retainers and our team will discuss the best solution for retaining the alignment of your teeth with you.

Removable Retainers – These are retainers that you can remove and store when they are not in your mouth. This kind of retainer is often much easier to keep clean, because you can remove your retainer whenever you eat or brush your teeth. Removable retainers allow you to be more efficient with your oral hygiene routine. However, the main drawback to removable retainers is that you must remember to wear it according to Dr. Kelly’s specifications. Removable retainers are also easier to lose and damage, because they can be taken out of your mouth and misplaced.

Fixed Retainers - A fixed retainer is adhered to the teeth in much the same way as your braces. Fixed retainers consist of a thin wire that is positioned and bonded to the back surface of your teeth. Fixed retainers effective at keeping the teeth in place, but they can be more difficult to keep clean.

It is important to keep your retainer clean and in good condition. Remember to rinse your removable retainer in cold water before and after use. If you have a fixed retainer, you will need to follow the same processes to clean it as you did with braces. Store your removable retainer in a plastic case whenever it is not in your mouth. You will also need to wash your retainer with a specialized cleaner every few months.

At Kelly Orthodontics, we are passionate about your smile. To learn more about how to keep your smile straight and beautiful, visit our website or give one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members a call.



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