You’ve been waiting so long for your new smile it’s hard to believe your braces are finally off! All that hard work, persistent care and teamwork has paid off and you look terrific. You may be thinking “what’s next?” “How will I make sure my smile stays looking great?”
The Importance of a Retainer
You will need, of course, to keep up that great oral hygiene routine you’ve maintained throughout your orthodontic treatment. But you may not be aware that your teeth must now go through a healing and settling phase. Ensuring the bone and gums heal properly and keeping your teeth in their new position will require the use of a retainer.
Everyone experiences changes in tooth position throughout their life – this is very normal. However, once you have undergone orthodontic treatment you want your teeth to remain in their new positions! You can expect a certain amount of relapse but proper and persistent use of a retainer will minimize this effect.
A retainer must be worn in order to be effective. The effectiveness of this phase is really up to you. You don’t want to lose the great smile you’ve just gained. Take the time to take care of your teeth and you will be satisfied with your smile for years to come.
As you know, we have put great effort into achieving the right results, and the effort doesn’t stop once the braces are removed. The amount of time you will be required to wear your retainer varies with each person, however some patience is in order. Give your teeth the time they need to settle into their new “space!”
Take good care of your retainer – they are expensive!
- Brush and floss your teeth before wearing your retainer.
- Wear full-time (24/7) for 3 months.
- After meals, be sure to brush and floss.
- Keep your retainer in a safe place (in its case) when not in use.
- Do not eat or drink while wearing your retainer.
- Keep away from pets.
- Be careful it doesn’t get thrown away after meals!
- Removal of unerupted wisdom teeth may be recommended to reduce the possibility of crowding.
- If retainer is lost or broken, contact us immediately.
- Bring your retainer to all appointments.
- One replacement retainer is included with your fee. There will be a charge after the first replacement retainer.
- Continue to visit your family dentist for regular exams and cleanings and at least once in the month following the removal of your braces.