The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Dental examinations and cleanings - The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. The patient should be seen by their family dentist at least every 6 months for cleanings and dental examinations.
Retainers - Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers as prescribed by our practice.
Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees(F). The retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle brushing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue. If you have tried these methods and they still are not as clean as you would like, bring them in to us and we will clean them in our ultrasonic cleaner.
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Here Are A Few Things To Remember During The Years Of Retainer Wear
- Don't fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant. It may accidentally get thrown away.
- Don't put your retainer in your pocket, you might sit on it and break it.
- Take your retainer out when swimming in a pool, lake or ocean. If it falls out you may not be able to find it.
- Please make sure your retainer is in your mouth or in its case at all times. Your retainer should only be out of your mouth when brushing or eating.
- Your lower retainer may be a fixed retainer bonded onto your teeth. It is not considered permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth if you are not careful with it.
- Bring your retainers to your check-up appointment. If anything happens to your retainers (i.e. it doesn't fit, it's broken, or it's lost) please call us ASAP. If your lower bonded retainer wire comes out, keep it and bring it in at your next appointment for rebonding.
- Keep things clean! Be sure to brush your teeth without your retainers in.
- Do not boil your retainer or put it in hot water. Brush your retainer with a toothbrush using toothpaste or water.