Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers as prescribed by our practice. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, a patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed.
Retainers are made from wires, clasps and plastic and are constructed for the purpose of holding the teeth. They are placed after the appliances have been removed. A removable retainer consists of colored plastic that goes behind the teeth and a wire that goes along the front. At first, your retainers will feel bulky, and speech may be a problem. The retainer may cause a slight lisp, but don't be alarmed: speech usually returns to normal within a few days. The day after you receive your retainer, your teeth may be a bit sore. This won't last long. The tissue on the roof of your mouth may become a little tender. You should get used to this in two to three days. Since retainers are removable, you must be responsible to use and care for them properly. Strict attention to instructions is essential.
Your retainer should be worn at ALL times except when eating at home, brushing, participating in contact sports, or swimming in a lake (or ocean) where they could not be retrieved if lost. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be kept in the case. Do not put it on a table where it might get knocked off or in a pocket where it may be easily cracked. Keep it away from dogs, which like to chew on retainers if given the opportunity.
If you must remove your retainer, NEVER wrap it in a paper towel, napkin or tissue. This is the most common way of losing a retainer. ALWAYS put it in the plastic retainer case we give you and always keep it in a safe place.
Your retainer should be cleaned after each meal and before going to bed. Retainers can be cleaned with your regular toothbrush and a mild liquid soap. A retainer cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
If plaque builds up on the retainer over time, it will dry and harden like tartar and be difficult to remove with a brush. Retainer cleaning solutions found in most drug stores are effective in removing this tartar. Follow the directions on the package.
Retainers are made to withstand normal use, but they crack or break if handled roughly. Retainers also can break if they are stepped on, dropped or placed in pockets. If yours breaks, be sure to bring in the pieces to your appointment. If your retainer becomes cracked, DO NOT wear it. Call our office immediately.
Here Are A Few Things To Remember During The Years Of Retainer Wear
- Don't fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant. Garbage cans don't make happy hunting grounds.
- Don't put your retainer in your pocket. You might sit on it and break it.
- Take your retainer out when swimming in a lake or ocean. If it falls out you may not be able to find it. The same goes for a swimming pool depending on the size of the pool.
- Animals and younger children love to play with it. Please make sure your retainer is in your mouth at all times. Your retainer should only be out of your mouth when brushing or eating.
- Your lower retainer may be a fixed retainer bonded onto your teeth. It is not considered permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth, if you are not careful with it.
- Bring your retainers to your check-up appointment. If anything happens to your retainers (i.e. it doesn't fit, it's broken, or it's lost) please call us ASAP. If your lower bonded retainer wire comes out, keep it and bring it in at your next appointment for rebonding.
- The first set of retainers is included in your treatment fee. Any repair, replacement of your retainer, or rebonding of your lower retainer will be additional and charged to your account.
- Keep things clean! Do not boil your retainer or put it in hot water. Brush your retainer with a toothbrush using mild soap and rinse with cool water.
Share Your Experience with Us
See our practice through the eyes of our patients! Share your experiences with
Pediatric Dental Specialists using the hashtag #PDSLongBeach
Everyone at your office is very friendly and professional, caring and understanding. Your work to accommodate children with special needs is highly commendable and appreciated tremendously.Andrew K.
Dr. Cortez is amazing! His gentle nature makes going to the dentist a joy for both of our kids! The dental hygienists are quick and efficient with cleanings, so the kids are finished before even thinking about it. The office staff is amazing as well!Isabella L.
Dr. Sanchez is a superb dentist who took the time to explain to my child exactly what she needed to do to maintain acceptable oral health. Words from a caring professional work better than ‘nagging’ from mom! Thank you!Elena M.