Care of Retainers
How Important Are Retainers?
The most important part of having a new beautiful smile is MAINTAINING it for the rest of your life.
Retention is just as important to the long-term success of your orthodontic care as when you were in treatment. Once your treatment is complete, many positive changes have been made to your teeth and jaws.
As you continue to grow (older), forces from your tongue, lips and cheeks that created your crooked teeth or overbite may still be present.
The challenge before you is to retain these corrections with retainers. Only faithful wearing of retainers can prevent the shifting of your teeth to any significant degree.
How quickly your teeth shift without retainer wear depends on your individual features, gum tissue memory, uneven growth patterns, chewing, swallowing, and habit patterns. Generally, the less you wear your retainer the greater the chance of shifting. If your retainers do not fit or “feel right” at any time, call and schedule a visit so we can check or adjust them.
Dr. McElhinney and Dr. Breha will prescribe a specific wear time for the first year following your treatment and then beyond.
Retainers are like eyeglasses, contact lenses or any other personal items that are worn daily… they wear out. Make an appointment to have your retainer replaced before it is unwearable.
Cemented retainers are a small or medium-sized wire attached behind your teeth. These retainers can be attached to two or more teeth and are designed to maintain the position of these teeth.
Cemented retainers are left in place for as long as you want to permanently hold the teeth in position. Avoid hard foods that can loosen the retainer from your teeth. Should a cemented wire become loose, call the office as soon as possible for a repair appointment.
Retainer Care Instructions
Remove your retainer for eating and drinking anything other than water. After eating or drinking anything with dye and or sugar make sure to brush your teeth or rinse with mouth rinse.
When cleaning your retainer, brush both the inside and outside. Avoid abrasive toothpastes as they scratch the retainer, making plaque adhere more easily.
You can soak your retainer in hydrogen peroxide, alcohol-free mouthwash, or an Efferdent type cleaner. Do not use alcohol-based products as they make the plastic brittle.
Avoid very hot/boiling water or leaving them in a hot car as the aligners will distort.
Always keep your retainer in a case when not being worn.
Retainers are easily thrown away and animals will destroy them in seconds.
If you lose your retainer, please call our office so a new one can be made ASAP.
Rarely does your equipment create a true emergency. However, if there are problems or discomforts you cannot manage, we are available for you.
Please try to call our office during normal working hours if you have an area that is rubbing or cutting. When you contact our orthodontic office after hours, the phone message will provide you with a phone number to contact the doctor or a staff member to help you with your emergency.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY—CALL 330.650.0880