Retainers are used to retain ("hold") your teeth in the position where we have moved them with your braces or appliances. Your teeth need to be held in their new positions while the bone, the gums, and the muscles (tongue, cheeks and lips) adapt to the new tooth positions.
How long do you have to wear retainer(s) ?
Everyone is different! A very few patients require no retention. Others require retainers for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately we can not predict who will have relapse therefore it is important for everyone to wear their retainers on a decreasing basis. Why gamble with your beautiful smile?
What kind of retainer(s) do you have to wear?
You will be given slipcovers, 2 sets included in your orthodontic treatment estimate. Made of plastic only (no wires!) that are very effective at holding teeth straight in the adult teeth. Slipcovers are a newer design and very tough, except they will warp if exposed to heat and can crack.
Instructions and care
Never eat with retainers in your mouth, and avoid any acidic or sugary drinks while retainers are in your mouth as the food and drink will get under your retainer and cause cavities since it can not escape.
Wear retainer full-time for the first 6 months, except while eating and brushing teeth. After 6 months you can wear retainer in the evenings after school or work and to sleep with. After 12 months you can decrease wear to only at night to sleep with and can keep gradually decreasing the amount of nights that you wear your retainers.
Retainers are rarely broken, and never lost, while in your mouth. Your retainer should be either in your mouth or in your protective case; never wrapped in a napkin or in your pocket, as there is a good chance it will go with the garbage or get broken.
No matter what your age, your teeth will continue to move and change throughout your lifetime. Wearing your retainers will minimize (not eliminate ) these changes.
If you have any further questions/concerns regarding retainers or other procedures to improve your smile, please ask the dentist or any of our staff at Riverstone Dental.