Our goal at Altera Orthodontics is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime! Once your braces are removed, you will receive retainers to maintain the corrections that have been made. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth will continue to stabilize for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to do so may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which may necessitate re-treatment. Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel it is best to wear retainers indefinitely.
At first, your retainers will feel bulky, and speech may be altered. The retainer may cause a slight lisp, but don't be alarmed, speech usually returns to normal within a few days. The day after you receive your retainer, your teeth may be a bit sore and the tissue on the roof of your mouth may feel tender, this won't last long. You should get used to this in two to three days.
Retainers are made of a pliable material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where temperatures can exceed 115 degrees. Retainers can be cleaned by brushing with a soft toothbrush in warm soapy water. Clean the retainer gently, being careful not to bend any wires. Your retainer and teeth should be cleaned after each meal and before going to bed. Before placing the clean retainer in your mouth, be sure you also thoroughly brush your teeth so you don’t trap food under the retainer.
Since retainers are removable, you must be responsible to use and care for them properly. Your retainers should be worn at night time for the rest of your life. When you remove your retainer, don’t simply put it on the table and never wrap it in a paper towel, napkin or tissue that can then end up in the trash. This is the most common way to lose a retainer. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be kept in its case.
Retainers are made to withstand normal use, but they will crack or break if handled roughly, stepped on, dropped, or placed in pockets. If yours breaks, don’t wear it, call our office immediately and be sure to bring in the pieces to your appointment.