After most orthodontic treatments, including braces, patients will receive a retainer. These oral appliances are designed to fit your new bite and prevent your teeth from moving back into their old, crooked positions. In most cases, patients will need to wear their retainer both day and night for several months, possibly up to a year. Based on your treatment, our orthodontist, Dr. Daniel Adams, will help determine when you are ready to only wear your retainer at night.
If not kept in place by a retainer, your teeth can move over time. After the initial retainer treatment period, wearing your retainer every night is essential for you to maintain your new, straight smile for the rest of your life. This ensures that you will not need repeated or additional orthodontic treatment in the future.
At Full Smile Orthodontics, we understand that wearing a retainer can be an adjustment to your daily routine. While it is important that you wear your retainer as directed, it is also important that you care for your appliance. To help you get the most out of your retainer use, we invite you to review the following instructions:
- Wear your retainer, day and night, until our orthodontist says otherwise.
- Remove your retainer when eating. Be sure to always put it in its case when you are not wearing it. Most appliances are lost in restaurants or school lunchrooms because they are placed on or in a napkin.
- Clean your retainer daily. You can use a toothbrush and toothpaste, and rinse with warm – not hot – water. Brushing your retainer helps remove particles of plaque, and reduces any odors. You can also use other appliance cleaners, such as Efferdent®, but do this in addition to brushing your retainer, not in place of it.
- ALWAYS put your retainer in its case when you are not wearing it. Dogs and other pets love to chew on retainers if they find them!
- It may take some time to get used to wearing your retainer, and speaking with it. Practice speaking aloud with your retainer in to help you get more comfortable with it faster.
- Retainers can be broken; handle yours with care. If your retainer does get broken or lost, call our office immediately at 760.804.0080.
- Do not try to adjust your retainer yourself. If you think that your retainer needs to be adjusted, or if you have any questions, please contact us.
- Bring your retainer to every follow-up appointment.
- Caring for your retainer can make it last for years. Replacing a retainer can be expensive!
- Remove your retainer when swimming.
- Avoid placing your retainer in hot water, the washing machine, pockets, napkins, and on top of car dashboards.
If you have any questions about how to properly care for and use your retainer in Carlsbad, California, please feel free to contact Full Smile Orthodontics today! Our orthodontist and team are happy to help in any way.