You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
For the first year after your braces have been removed, you will be wearing your removable retainer 24 hours a day. Your orthodontist can determine during which activities you should remove your retainer, such as eating and participating in sports. Do not wear your removable retainer when swimming or when you are in any water activities at the beach, pool, lake, or ocean. A dislodged retainer can become a choking hazard. Put the retainer in it’s case during such activities.
Since your teeth can still shift years after orthodontic treatment, it is vital to consistently wear your retainer. The retention phase can often last for more than one year. Speak with your orthodontist to see how long you should wear your retainer for your individual case.
Your retainer is bonded from canine to canine. Carelessness can separate this bond. If left unbonded, even for only a few days, tooth decay can occur and the unattached tooth can become crooked. So if you feel a loose bond with your tongue or see a tooth get out of line, call us for an appointment immediately (a charge will most likely be made for a repair or replacement, so do be careful, please). Even though the retainer feels secure and the teeth remain aligned, we want to continue to examine the bonded teeth, retainer and your bite based on the schedule given to you on your retainer agreement. Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention. Please do not eat anything hard or sticky as this may dislodge the bonded retainer.