Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces used today, but improved orthodontic technology has made the treatment experience more comfortable than ever before! Braces today are smaller and constructed of high-grade space age metal alloys. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
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. Watch the video below for retainer care tips:
How Orthodontic Retainers are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for one year following the removal of braces.
After approximately one year, the patient can wear the orthodontic retainer just at night. This is to allow the wisdom teeth to develop without ruining the patient’s beautiful smile. Dr. Matthew Stout will see you every six to nine months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and an X-ray will be taken every one and a half years.
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.
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, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.