Home » Treatment » Retainers

RetainersRemoving braces signals the start of the retention and observation period of your orthodontic care. Please remember that this part of your orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active movement phase in determining the ultimate success of your treatment. Once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, a period of time is needed to stabilize the teeth so that the surrounding bone and soft tissues can conform to your new dental alignment. Dr. Foote uses clear Essix plastic retainers to hold each and every tooth in place during this phase of your treatment.

When braces are removed, it is a good time to review several important aspects of care.

How long are retainers worn?

The final observation and retention period of treatment normally spans approximately two years. During this period, appointments are scheduled with decreasing frequency. Retainers are generally worn at night. Each person’s requirements are different and a longer period or a different schedule may be recommended if facial growth is not complete. The position and fit of teeth generally changes throughout your life, with or without orthodontic treatment, and so indefinite wear, at least on a part-time basis, is recommended to maintain the desired changes that have been achieved. Retainers are an essential component to maintaining the beautiful result of orthodontics.

Will my teeth move back after treatment?

The position and fit of teeth generally changes throughout your life, with or without orthodontic treatment. Everything changes as we age, our skin, our hair, our eyes, etc and our teeth are no different. Our goal in the retention phase of your treatment is to limit these changes while maintaining both a good functional and an aesthetic result. In an effort to maintain your orthodontic result, retainers are essential.

Taking care of retainers

Keeping the retainer either in the mouth or its case will avoid loss of breakage, which would lead to extra expense. Brushing the retainer with cool water and toothpaste and soaking it in a cleanser, such as Retainer Brite will help keep it fresh. Never soak your retainer in mouthwash. Never place your retainer in hot water, as it may become distorted and require replacement. If a brush is not available after eating, rinse off your retainer and place it back in your mouth or in its case. Beware of putting your retainer in a pocket where it might become broken. Also, avoid leaving it out where pets could find it or where it may become lost.

What if a retainer is lost or broken?

Phone the office right away for an appointment to replace or repair your retainer. Although there may be a charge for replacement or repair, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to protect the investment you have made in your orthodontic case.