You or your child is approaching the end of your orthodontic treatment. The day your braces are removed we will prepare to fabricate and deliver your retainers within 1 week. Braces loosen the teeth while moving them to their proper position. Once braces are removed, retainers must be worn in order to prevent shifting of the teeth and to allow settling of the teeth in their new position.
Normally, we ask our patients to wear their retainers 24 hours a day for 9 to 12 consecutive months following the removal of the braces. AS THE WORD READS, RETAINERS “RETAIN” YOUR TEETH IN PLACE AFTER BRACES HAVE STRAIGHTENED THEM. THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE. Retainers can be taken out by the patient before eating, brushing, and for special occasions. It will take some time to get used to the presence of retainers in the mouth. They interfere with proper enunciation of certain words, sounds, particularly words containing the “s” and “th” letters. To help with proper articulation of words, we recommend reading a book or magazine a loud to adjust your speech quickly. Retainers cause your salivary glands to produce excess saliva. Your glands will return to normal function after a few days with no particular action on your part. They sometimes cause soreness of the teeth or parts of your gums. We will adjust your retainer to eliminate such problems on your subsequent visits. Finally, they are uncomfortable and awkward to wear for a few days. Believe it or not, after a few weeks, most people get used to them and feel comfortable.
After the 24 hour wear period, we usually ask our patients to continue to wear their retainers at night, for several months. After the night time wear program, please continue to wear your retainers approximately 2-3 nights FOREVER. This is because teeth always shift and become crooked as people get older, whether or not they ever had braces. Since you have gone through so much pain and expense, it is best to protect your beautiful smile by wearing your retainers at night as long as you want your teeth to remain straight and beautiful. Many patients order a second set of retainers in case they lose or break the first set or just to have an extra set in case the first one gets old and worn out over time. If you are interested, inform the receptionist on the day we take your molds so we can order an extra set. The COST is $295 PER retainer--- so a full set is $590.
Retainers should be brushed with a toothbrush and toothpaste every time your brush your teeth (at least 2 times a day). When cleaning your retainers, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO ONLY USE COLD WATER. IN ADDITION, they should NEVER be wrapped in napkins when you take them out to eat out. This is the number one reason for losing retainers. ALWAYS place them in the retainer case provided to you when you are not wearing them. Also, please keep them away from pets, which tend to chew them.
Congratulations on getting the braces off. Please remember that wearing your retainers is MANDATORY when visiting us for your retention check up appointments. These retainer check-up appointments are very crucial for the maintenance of your beautiful smile.