Don’t Lose Your Retainers!

In all seriousness, congratulations!  All your hard work has paid off and now you are the proud owner of a beautiful smile. You now enter the final, most important phase of your treatment, retention!

Teeth are always shifting, whether a person has had braces or not.

Why do our teeth move?

Chewing food – The forces we place on our teeth while chewing food tends to cause our teeth to move over the long term. The function of your retainer is to keep your teeth in the desired positions – reset them so to speak – so they don’t get crooked again. We therefore ask that you wear your retainer full time, and then later we will ask that you wear it only at night.

When Can You Stop Wearing a Retainer?

However, even after the one year of retention, we encourage you to “self-monitor” against shifting by wearing your retainers every few nights. Judge whether or not your teeth are shifting by how tight the retainers feel after they have been out for a while.

Some patients who are still growing should wear their retainers every night until they are finished growing. You may decide that you will accept some changes in your teeth as you age and stop wearing the retainers altogether. This is a personal decision, and you must be willing to accept some natural shifting with aging that occurs as a result of not having retainers in place.

After all the hard work that we have put in together, we encourage you to take responsibility for maintaining your smile!

Retainers are easy to lose or damage so remember these points:

  • Don’t wrap your retainers in a napkin — you can’t imagine how many retainers get thrown out this way or lost.
  • If a retainer is broken or distorted or does not seem to fit properly, notify us right away. A new one should be made as soon as possible.
  • Pets love to chew retainers. Keep retainers in a safe place.
  • Don’t leave your retainers in hotels. 😉

When you come for your retainer check-ups, please bring your retainer with you; it’s hard to check otherwise.

Three important things to remember with retainers:

  1. Handle With Care
  2. Keep Them Clean – Brush your retainer every day with a soft brush but no tooth paste. Without a little attention, retainers can build up tartar and get stinky! Retainer cleaner tablets are now widely available at drugstores. If you have a bonded retainer, flossing under the wire every day is essential to keep your gums healthy.
  3. See Your Family Dentist – A fresh cleaning and checkup is in order at this point. There is also some promising new tooth whitening technology available: ask your dentist. It could be the ideal finishing touch to your terrific smile!

Book an Assessment Today

If you are looking for a skilled, caring Orthodontist that specializes in retainers in the Schertz or La Vernia area, we’re here to help.