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A retainer is an orthodontic appliance (usually removable) that is supposed to be worn after your orthodontist removes your braces. When braces are removed, the teeth have a tendency to want to return back to their original positions. Retainers prevent this from happening.
it's finally time for your braces to come off. Your teeth are straight and beautiful at last, but you're not finished yet! Impressions will be taken for study models and working casts for your new retainers. Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in place while they settle into their final position. Depending on your case the doctor will make recommendations on how long you need to wear your retainers each day and for how many months, years, and sometimes for life!
Your doctor will fill out a prescription slip with instructions for the type of retainer and the specific design he/she wants the lab technician to follow when making your appliances. Some doctors have a technician in their office but in most cases your appliances will be sent out to an orthodontic laboratory to be fabricated.
How to Take Care of Your Retainers
- - Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating...and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but these do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing aloud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive...with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins