Once we finish moving your teeth to the ideal position in the mouth, to create the beautiful smile you always wanted, the active stage of orthodontic therapy is completed. However, the treatment is not finished. After we remove your braces or your last Invisalign aligner, we begin the retention phase.
The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. During this stage you will have to wear removable appliances that maintain the teeth in the position the active orthodontic treatment has aligned them. These appliances are named retainers. Your final long-lasting orthodontic result will depend on your wearing of your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you have put in so far. And make sure you see your family dentist once fixed appliances are removed and retainers are placed in your mouth. A thorough check-up and cleaning are just what the doctor ordered!
Also, remember to:
- Remove your retainer during eating and before brushing.
- Brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth. Avoid using warm water that might distort your retainer. Also, avoid keeping your retainer in alcohol based mouth washes.
- Never leave your retainers close to a heat source such as a space heater or a hot car in the summer.
- Never leave your retainers available to a dear pet! They love chewing on plastic things and your retainers are no exceptions.
- Always keep your retainers either in your mouth or in the provided retainer case
- Never wrap your retainers in napkins-always keep them in their case. It is extremely common for orthodontic retainers to be lost in restaurants or at school.
- Call and schedule an appointment as soon as possible in case you break or lose your retainer-teeth will shift if you stay without retainer for too long and you may need to go back to active orthodontic treatment.
A set of retainers is included with your orthodontic treatment. However, if you lose or break your retainer we may charge you a fee for replacement or repairs! So be careful and take care of your retainers!