The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you wear your orthodontic retainers. Retention is for life because teeth have a memory of where they came from and, regardless of previous treatment, they move as part of the natural aging process.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Following active treatment, the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing which makes it imperative that retainers be worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How Orthodontic Retainers are Worn
Teeth move throughout life whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not. It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results for life.
Retainers are generally worn full-time for two (2) months, followed by nighttime wear indefinitely. Dr. Danielle London will perform a retention check two (2) and six (6) months after active treatment.
How to Care for Orthodontic Retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from any place where the temperature exceeds 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be stored in the provided case when they are not in use.
- Retainers should be kept away from family pets, as they like to chew on them.
- Retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Plaque tends to cling to the surfaces and gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove it.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. At London Family Orthodontics, your all-inclusive investment includes one set of retainers after active treatment and an additional replacement set within the first six (6) months. Save money and protect your investment by enrolling in our Smile Guarantee!
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
For some patients, permanent retainers are attached to the back of teeth, however, this process is avoided when possible for the sake of oral hygiene and proper retention following treatment. Should a fixed retainer be applied, it should be monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check-ups.
Dental Examinations and Cleanings
Following treatment, the patient should continue with practicing proper oral hygiene procedures at home, including thorough brushing and flossing techniques. The patient’s general dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.