Congratulations! The active phase or “wearing braces” is finally over and we hope that you are extremely pleased with your result. We now enter the retention phase or “wearing retainers.” Retainers are very important because it does just as it says; it retains or holds your teeth in their new position.
There are a variety of different retainers on the market today. Dr. Cooper will recommend the type of retainer(s) that best suits your finished case.
As we get older no matter our age, our bodies change and teeth are no exception to the rule. By wearing your retainers as you are instructed, you not only protect your investment, but also minimize the amount of movement greatly. Neglecting your teeth by not wearing, losing and/or constantly breaking your retainers can be quite expensive.
Retainer Instructions to follow
If you follow these instructions, you should be very successful at protecting your wonderful orthodontic smile.
- Biostar Essix retainers should be worn 22 hours per day for the first 3 months, then 6-8 hours per day (or at bedtime) for months 4-12. During your second year, you can decrease the number of days gradually, but continue wearing 6-8 hours.
- Invisalign patients should follow Biostar instructions above.
- Standard Hawley retainers should be worn 22 hours per day for the first 6 months; then 10-12 hours per day for months 7-12. During your second year, follow Biostar instructions above.
- Take your retainers out when eating, and always put retainers in their case (most retainers are lost in school lunchrooms and restaurants).
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm water not hot water. Brushing retainers removes plaque and eliminates odors. Soaking them in a mouthwash (Scope, Listerine) is also very helpful.
- When retainers are not in your mouth, they should always be in a retainer case. Remember, your pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken, call us immediately.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointment.
- Remove retainers while playing sports and swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, your pockets, the washing machine, the dryer and napkins.
- Retainer replacement can be expensive. With proper care they should last for years! Please ask us about our retainer insurance policy.