The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you wear your orthodontic retainers. Keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the 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. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How Orthodontic Retainers are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, regardless of whether someone had orthodontic treatment or not, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for the period of time Dr. Iezman and his staff suggest following the removal of braces.
After a period of full time wear, Dr. Iezman and his staff will let our patients know when they can wear the orthodontic retainer just at home (16 hours/day) or just at night (8 hours/day). Dr. Robert Iezman will continue to see his patients for retainer check up visits until he feels the teeth and bite are as stable as they will be and no further orthodontic treatment or monitoring is necessary. At that point our patients will continue to wear their retainers as necessary and they are instructed to call the office if anything appears amiss or the retainers break. For the majority of patients, if they stop wearing their retainers there is a good chance the teeth will become misaligned.
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 heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture 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. Clear retainers should not be cleaned with any colored solutions.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, or they break due to age there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, please contact our office immediately.
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
Retainers need to be worn indefinitely and the bonded wire retainers are no different. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Iezman prescribes. The fixed retainer wires do come loose from wear over time either from a tooth or two or completely. Should this happen please call our office as soon as possible to have the wire repaired or replaced. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check ups.
Habits or Conditions that Require More Retainer Wear and could cause Additional Problems
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instrument with a reed
- Thumb, finger or lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home which includes thorough brushing and flossing techniques daily. They should also commit to seeing there family dentist at least once every six months.