Retaining Your Smile
Congratulations! Your braces are off! So…you’re finished with your orthodontic treatment, right? Not quite.
Together we have worked hard to give you a beautiful smile. Now you must maintain your great smile by using a retainer. The retainer keeps your teeth in their proper positions. It is extremely important that you wear it as instructed or your teeth will move back toward their original positions.
How to Keep a Terrific Smile!
- Wear your retainer all the time except for brushing and eating.
- Your teeth may be uncomfortable for 1 or 2 days, similar to when your braces were adjusted.
- When you are not wearing your retainer, always keep it in its case.
- Children and pets love retainers, and retainers often get broken in pockets. Never wrap your retainer in a napkin; it may accidentally get thrown out.
- As soon as you finish eating, brush your teeth and clean your retainer. Use a toothbrush with cool water and liquid soap. Once a day, soak your retainer in Efferdent (denture cleaner) for 8-10 minutes.
- It is important that the retainer keeps its shape so your teeth will stay in their correct positions. Be gentle when removing and replacing it. Avoid flipping it in and out with your tongue.
- Your speech may sound strange for the first few days. Keep talking, read out loud and sing. This will help you become accustomed to your retainer.
- Excessive heat will warp and ruin your retainer, so keep it away from hot cars and surfaces.
- If you become ill, soaking your retainer in one part bleach to five parts water solution may reduce the chance of reinfection.
- Do not chew gum, taffy or anything sticky while wearing your retainer.
- Bring your retainers to each appointment. If your retainer gets lost, broken or doesn’t fit correctly, call immediately to have an evaluation for replacement. There is a replacement fee for broken or lost retainers.
- Avoid losing your retainer by removing it while swimming.
- Retainer wear is a lifelong process. If you want to be assured that your teeth will stay straight, you will need to wear yours indefinitely.