Don't Skip Out on Wearing Retainers. Here's Why
Once you complete your treatment at Straighten Up Orthodontics, you will be provided a retainer or set of retainers. Be sure not to lose your retainer as you will be charged a fee for each replacement.
How Important are Retainers?
Some patients are under the impression that once the braces come off their orthodontic treatment is over. But, the retention phase can easily be seen as the most important part of the process since retainers help keep teeth in their perfectly aligned position.
If you decide to not wear your retainer, there is a good chance your teeth will slip back into their old ways due to regression. This may require you to repeat orthodontic treatments.
Removable and Fixed Retainers
There are two types of retainers we use at Straighten Up Orthodontics — fixed and removable.
Fixed retainers use a thin archwire affixed to the back of the teeth. Since fixed retainers are cemented onto the teeth with a special bonding agent, these should only be removed by a dental professional.
Removable retainers can be inserted and removed in very much the same way as a mouthguard. But, in contrast to a mouthguard, a removable retainer has a supporting archwire and a more rigid plastic structure.
5 Easy-to-Follow Rules for Successful Retention
To keep your retainer functioning as it should and prevent any gaps in your treatment, there are a few simple rules you should follow to keep your retainer in great shape.
#1. Don’t leave your retainer in your pocket.
Your retainer belongs in your mouth. If you leave it in a pocket, it can easily get lost or damaged. When your retainer is not in use, keep it in the protective case provided by your orthodontist.
#2. Remember: retainers are important!
Retainers are not an “accessory.” Rather, they form the basis of one of the most important stages of orthodontic treatment, and that is retention. Keep your smile perfect by remembering to wear your retainer as much as possible.
#3. Treat your retainer with care.
Retainers are easy to lose. Therefore, whenever you take your retainer out, place it in its case and store it in an easy-to-remember location.
#4. Don’t leave your retainer in a hot car.
Retainers use a thermoformed plastic to give it strength and rigidity. This means that if they are exposed to high heat they can soften and lose their shape. To be on the safe side, never leave your retainer in a hot car or near heat sources.
#5. Keep them clean.
Retainers will accumulate bacteria that can be transferred to the teeth and gums. Every day, clean your retainers using a specialty product such as Retainer Brite® or Fresh Guard. Toothpaste shouldn’t be used as the abrasiveness of the paste can etch the plastic portion of the retainer, making it more difficult to remove germs and bacteria in the future.