Retainer Instructions

Retainer Instructions

After orthodontic treatment, you are proud of the way your teeth look and feel, and are ready to show off that smile. As well you should be! However, if you want to help keep your smile looking great, then you have to wear your retainers diligently; otherwise, your teeth could shift back, reversing all the orthodontic treatment. Do you remember all the instructions Nic gave you on your last visit? If not here is a little refresher to help you.

Why Do I Need Retainers?

Right after orthodontic alignment treatment, your teeth are not stable. In fact, your teeth and jaws are a dynamic system and are minutely moving and shifting all the time. These appliances help support teeth once they are in their final position and will enhance the stability of your new smile. Regularly wearing your retainer will minimise changes and keep original problems from re-emerging.
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Two Types of Retainers

  1. Removable retainers are plastic and metal appliances based on a mould of your teeth. These retainers clasp the upper first molars and mould to your upper arch. A wire runs all around the outside of the upper teeth to hold them in position. You will start by regularly wearing these appliances all day, every day. But with time, you will gradually decrease to wearing them only a couple of nights a week or as advised by Nic.
  2. Bonded or fixed retainers are often attached to the lower front teeth. Because they are highly susceptible to crowding, many patients experience post-treatment relapse with their bottom teeth. To keep this from happening we attach a fine braided wire behind the lower six front teeth. These permanent retainers are not visible from the front and once patients get used to them, they will forget these appliances are even in place. In addition to crowding, these bottom teeth also are highly susceptible to decay. With fixed retainers, you must brush and floss around the appliance regularly, as instructed. If your bonded wire comes loose or breaks away, let us know as soon as possible so we can secure it back in place.

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Instructions for Your Retainers

  1. Wear your retainers full-time for the first three months, only removing them while you eat. Nic will let you know when you can start to reduce the amount of time you are required to wear them.
  2. To keep your retainers clean you should remove them, rinse them with water and clean them with your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth (at least twice a day). NEVER put your retainer in boiling water because this could ruin the shape and impact the alignment of your teeth.
  3. Bring your retainer to your six-month checkups so Nic can check the fit and remove any tartar buildup from your appliance.
  4. If you lose or break your retainer, call us right away on (09)524-5056. We will make you a new one or fix your retainer as soon as possible.

Every part of the body changes with growth and age; your teeth are no exception. If you want to make the most of your new and improved smile, you will have to adhere to these instructions. Wearing a retainer will minimise change and keep your smile looking exceptional for years to come.
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Retainer Instructions January 4, 2015