Retainers are used to maintain the corrected position of the teeth after braces have been removed. Teeth are still subject to move even after orthodontic treatment, especially from pressure due to developing wisdom teeth, and maturation. Full time wear of your retainers is generally 6 to 12 months. Only after the doctor directs, should a patient start wearing them part time according to instructions given.
1. Your retainers must be worn during daytime hours or full time-24 hours a day as directed by the doctor. Do not reduce wearing time unless directed to do so.
2. There are some Exceptions. When retainers are not in your mouth keep them safe in your case.
a. Swimming- Water can flush them out of the mouth if swallowed.
b. Playing Contact Sports- Any sport that requires a fitted mouth guard, or results in bodily contact where your retainers can be knocked out your mouth.
c. Eating hard foods- These could easily break the acrylic or bend the wires
3. ALWAYS store your retainers in the cases provided when they are out of your mouth. Retainers placed into pockets, purses, backpacks will easily get lost or broken.
4. NEVER wrap your retainers in a napkin. Most retainers are lost this way.
5. Keep your retainers away from pet, especially dogs. Dogs will think they are a chew toy.
6. Never store your retainers near a heat source, in a hot car, or lying out in the sun. This will cause the plastic to soften and distort.
7. There is a fee to replace lost, broken, distorted retainers that is a separate charge from your treatment fee. Retainers last many years with proper care and storage.
8. Keep your retainers clean! Brush them every time they are removed from your mouth. Retainers can accumulate plaque on them if not kept clean. Use your toothbrush and tooth paste to clean them daily. Once a week you can use retainer cleaner, found in many stores, or white vinegar to soak them for a deep clean. (Mix white vinegar: use a small butter dish- ½ vinegar, ½ water, soak for 15 minutes, then brush with toothpaste to remove vinegar smell and taste)
9. Retainer Checks are usually semi-annual. This is to monitor your orthodontic stability. It is important to bring retainers to each of these appointments, so the doctor can check the fit and adjust as needed. If your retainers become ill-fitting, please call our office to have them checked. Do not wait for your next appointment.
(1) Insert your Tru-Tain or Essix by placing it on the chewing surface of your front teeth and running your finger along from front to back to seat the retainer.
(2) To Remove the Tru-Tain or Essix, first lift it off the molar teeth then around to the incisor teeth.
(3) Remove the retainer
PART-TIME RETAINER WEAR:
1) Only after that doctor has advised you, should you wear your retainers part-time. Otherwise they should be in your mouth full-time.
2) When going from full-time to part-time, start slowly. Drop back the time by 2 hours each day until the recommended time is achieved.
3) In-house wear is 4 hours during the day and 8 hours at night for a total of 12 hours.
4) If your retainers feel snug, or painful when inserting, it means you still need more wear. Go back to full-time wear, until the ease of fit is achieved.
5) If your retainers are not fitting, call our office to schedule an appointment for an adjustment. The longer you wait the less chance there is to make the retainers fit.
6) Restorations: NEW Fillings, Crowns, Implants, Partials, Bridges can cause your retainers not to fit. Call our office to schedule an appointment for and adjustment, or possible fabrication of a new retainer.
Any questions regarding retainers and their fit and use should be directed to the orthodontic staff.