When braces or other orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient’s soft tissues and bone undergo a stabilization process over the next few months. During this time, it will be necessary to wear a retainer to stabilize the changes that have been made to soft tissue and teeth. At Angle Orthodontics, we insist that our patients wear retainers because failing to do so as instructed might cause shifting of the teeth, requiring further treatment.
Once this crucial period has passed, many people stop wearing their retainers. However, it is our strong belief that patients that have had orthodontic treatments should wear retainers throughout their lives. In order to achieve the maximum effect, we recommend wearing retainers consistently for a year following the removal of braces. After this period has passed, it is advisable to wear the retainer at night — this will allow a younger patient’s wisdom teeth to grow in without causing crowding or other distortions.
Orthodontic Retainer ProceduresTake a look at some of the tips our team at Angle Orthodontics has come up with to help you throughout your years of wearing a retainer:
- Do not keep your retainer in your pocket. This might cause it to bend or break, especially if you sit on it.
- Keep it out of reach of small children and pets — they love playing with them.
- Take your retainer out when eating and brushing your teeth. Otherwise, it should be in your mouth.
- Take your retainer out while swimming. If it happens to fall out, you will probably have trouble finding it.
- Always bring your retainers to your scheduled check-up appointments at Angle Orthodontics.
- Brush your retainer regularly using a toothbrush and mild liquid soap or dental solution.
- Never place your retainer in hot water or leave it next to a heater or even a car dashboard. Retainers are made from a thermoplastic material and excessive heat tends to distort their shape.
- If your retainer wires come out, let us know. We will be happy to rebond the wires during your next appointment.
Do I Require a Dental Retainer?Generally speaking, we recommend that all of our patients wear a retainer following removal of braces. However, there are certain habits that require stronger retention because they make it more likely for a person’s teeth to shift. Take a look at the following:
- Lip sucking
- Teeth grinding
- Pencil biting
- Playing musical instruments with a reed
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment