After your orthodontic treatment is complete, you enter the retention phase, which is essential to maintaining the new position of your teeth. Retainers are custom-made to fit your mouth and ensure your teeth remain in their new position. Without retainers, your teeth may shift back to their original position, reversing the effects of the treatment.
There are two main types of retainers: fixed and removable. Fixed retainers consist of a thin wire that is bonded to the back of your teeth, usually on the lower front teeth. Removable retainers are made of clear plastic and appear similar to Invisalign aligners. They are worn over your teeth and can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.
During the retention phase, it’s essential to wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist. This often means wearing your retainer every night while sleeping for an extended period, sometimes years. Over time, your orthodontist may recommend decreasing the frequency of retainer use. However, it’s crucial to follow their instructions to ensure the long-term success of your orthodontic treatment. Additionally, proper oral hygiene is crucial during this phase to prevent decay and other dental problems.
Here Are A Few Things To Remember During The Years Of Retainer Wear:
- Avoid placing your retainers in a napkin or tissue, as they can easily get thrown away or lost.
- Always store your retainers in their case when not in use to protect them from damage or loss.
- Clean your retainers regularly with a toothbrush and mild soap to remove bacteria and prevent odor.
- Avoid exposing your retainers to high temperatures, such as leaving them in a hot car or boiling water, as this can cause them to warp or lose their shape.
- If you experience any discomfort or notice any changes in the fit of your retainers, contact your orthodontist immediately for adjustments or replacements.