Retainers and Retention
The day your braces are removed is a day to celebrate.
It’s been a long wait and you’ve worked hard to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. But your journey to the perfect smile is not over just yet.
It’s now important to do everything you can to maintain that perfect smile.
This is when we begin the retention stage of your treatment by using a retainer.
Retention is just as important as your treatment.
Dedication and commitment to wearing your retainer will be essential to sustaining your stunning smile.
The Importance of a Retainer
Once your orthodontic appliances are first removed your teeth may still be slightly mobile. Some shifting of the teeth is normal as the ligament fibers at the roots of the teeth to the bone are trying to pull the teeth back to their prior position.
The use of a retainer is imperative to hold your teeth in their new positions while the bone stabilizes around the roots while minimizing significant movement.
Living tissue is always subject to change from your daily habits (like nail biting, chewing on pens, etc.), pressure, aging, posture, or your lifestyle. – Even pressure from your lips and tongue can create subtle changes.
A good rule of thought to remember is – Retainers are Forever.
Types of Retainers
Righellis Orthodontics offers a variety of retainers for different purposes and needs. Here are a few of the most common:
- Hawley – Most common, removable, and made from a combination of metal wire and acrylic composite. Made in a variety of fun colors to choose from, allowing you to personalize it to fit your unique style. This retainer is made from an impression of your mouth, giving you a perfect fit.
- Fixed – These are bonded directly to your lower teeth with dental cement. They are the easiest to keep track of because they never leave your mouth.
- C.O.R. – This is a clear overlay retainer, which fits directly onto your dental arch. They are a great choice for wearing during the day.
What to Expect
For the first few days in your new retainer, you will notice your mouth will produce extra saliva and you may notice a slight slur when you speak. This is normal and will subside within a few days.
Dr. Righellis may recommend that you wear your retainer for full 24 hours per day for the first few months. The only time it should be removed during this time is when you are brushing, flossing, eating, or playing sports. Once this time has passed, you will move to wearing it at each bedtime for a few years.
Use your protective case to keep your retainer safe when it’s not in your mouth.
Pets find these to be very attractive chew toys and if you place it in a napkin you may run the risk of accidentally throwing it away.
Clean your retainer daily and never leave it in the sun. Use it only as Dr. Righellis has instructed and do not play with it or flip it around with your tongue.
Having to replace a lost or damaged retainer can be a costly expense.
At Righellis Orthodontics, we are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.
Our team of skilled and knowledgeable orthodontists design personalized treatment plans during your time in braces as well as during the retention phase to suit your needs.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
Do you have questions about retainer wear? Ask a team member at our Oakland, CA practice.
Contact us online anytime or call us at 510-482-0600.