After the active orthodontic treatment period is complete and your braces have been removed, you will be given a set of retainers. This marks the beginning of the retention phase, during which retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new positions while the bones and gums adapt. You must wear your retainers as instructed, otherwise your teeth will move back to their original positions, and the benefits of having had braces will be lost.
When to Wear Your Retainer
Wear your retainer at all times, even while you are sleeping, with the following exceptions: The retainer may be removed for eating, flossing and brushing, and vigorous sporting activities.
Pain and Soreness
The retainers may make your teeth sore and you may even find that your speech is slightly altered for a few days. This is normal with new retainers and will resolve on its own. If you develop a sore spot on your gums, call our office so that we can adjust your retainers for better comfort.
Cleaning Your Retainer
Brush your retainers daily. If needed, a retainer cleaner – Retainer Brite – can be used for a more thorough cleaning. Do not boil your retainer to sterilize it. If you feel that it needs sterilization, bring it to the office so that we will properly disinfect it for you.
How to Keep Your Retainer Safe
Because the retainer is removable, it can be taken out for convenience during meals and for cleaning. However, careful care should be taken not to lose your retainer. When eating meals, be sure to keep it in its case for safety. Never wrap the retainer in a napkin or store it in your pocket. Keep it away from dogs, as they love to chew on them.
Remember, your retainer can only work when you are wearing it! Please give us a call if you have any questions about retainer use.