Getting your braces off is an exciting day!
You’ll go back to enjoying all the foods you love with ease, and you’ll appreciate sharing your new smile in photos. Your orthodontic treatment does not end here, however.
Retention, or wearing a retainer, is very important in order to maintain your beautiful new smile and protect your investment in orthodontic treatment.
Teeth Will Shift
We are often asked "How long should I wear my retainer?" The answer is how long do you want straight teeth?
The pressure exerted on your teeth changes throughout your lifetime. While some teeth are more stable than others, the only way to guarantee your smile remains perfect is to wear your retainers.
Types of Retainers
Dr. Trommeter will recommend the type of retainer and how much wear is best for your individual needs.
- An invisible retainer is made of clear plastic, very similar to the aligners worn during Invisalign treatment. This retainer fits snug against your teeth and isn’t noticeable to other people. Some patients may wear this retainer during the day right after treatment and gradually shift to nighttime wear.
- A Hawley retainer is made of acrylic and a metal wire to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is very durable because the patient does not bite on any plastic. This can also be worn during the day and transition into nighttime only.
- A bonded retainer adheres to the back of the teeth; this is the only type of retainer that isn’t removable. This is a good option when parents are concerned about their child being responsible with retainers.
Taking Care of Your Retainers
Removable retainers require regular cleaning, and it can be as easy as gently brushing them with a toothbrush and cool water or soaking them in a cleaning solution. Hawley retainers can be cleaned with toothpaste and gentle brushing. Invisible retainers should be cleaned with dish soap or hydrogen peroxide, as toothpaste is abrasive and will cause the clear retainer to appear cloudy.
Avoid hot water when cleaning or storing your retainers since heat can also alter the shape and fit of your retainers. Also, beware of your pets. Cats hide them, and dogs like to eat them! Dr. Trommeter reminds all patients that ‘if it’s not in your face it’s in your case!’.
At Trommeter Orthodontics, we not only want to help you achieve a beautiful smile; we also want to help you maintain it for lifetime. Retainers are an important part of orthodontic treatment that will help keep your teeth straight and healthy.
Do you have questions about retainers? Give us a call today!