When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. This final stage of your treatment adds the finishing touches to help ensure you enjoy a beautiful smile for life. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.
Retainers are designed to maintain your corrected bite until the gums and bone adapt to the change. It is important that you wear your retainers exactly as Dr. Sokoloff has instructed. If you do not, your teeth may shift to their former positions. If that happens, the time and money you invested, as well as the benefit of wearing braces, will be lost.
The retention process requires time and patience on your part. Try not to become discouraged in the first few days. Even speaking will improve thereafter. In order for your retainers to do their important job, you must do three things:
Wear them!-That means in your mouth, not in your pocket or purse. Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow Dr. Sokoloff’s instructions on when to wear them.
Keep them clean!-After meals, brush all parts of the retainer with soap and water. If you are unable to brush after a meal, be sure to rinse the retainers and your mouth. Be sure to use only COLD water when cleaning retainers.
Handle them with care!-Retainers are easier to lose than you think. If you take your retainers out to eat, do not wrap them in a napkin and accidentally throw them away. When retainers are out of your mouth they must be in a retainer case.
Later when you are instructed to leave the retainers out part of the time, keep them in a safe place where they won’t get damaged. When they are just lying around, they have a way of falling on the floor and being stepped on, or even being picked up by pets (especially dogs).
Take care of your retainers. To make a new one requires considerable time. If accidently bent or broken, come in immediately and have it restored or remade. If the retainer is lost or broken through carelessness, there is a replacement charge.
If your retainer causes prolonged irritation of the gums, lips, cheeks or tongue, do not try to adjust it yourself. Call our office for an emergency appointment.
Hawley retainers are one type of retainer, Essix which are a clear type retainer may also be used, both of which are removable. You must be very careful when handling your upper retainers, as they are fragile and costly to replace. You are given a special case for your retainer; please make sure you keep them in this case when not wearing it! To clean these retainers, brush them with mild soap solution, or denture cleaner using cold water.
Your retainers should be worn at all times with the exception of eating and brushing your teeth. Your retainer should also be removed when participating in sports that require a mouthguard or while swimming. After 12 months of full-time wear, we may revise your retention treatment, allowing the retainer to strictly be worn at night.
In some instances a fixed retainer which is a wire cemented to the six anterior teeth can be used depending on how the teeth were prior to treatment. There are eating restrictions when this type of retainer is used and flossing is a little harder.
Written instructions will be given with any type of retainer given.