FULL PHASE RETAINERS
The purpose of wearing retainers is to maintain the proper position of your teeth after they have been straightened. This helps the supporting structures of your teeth to strengthen and can also close small gaps that may remain after removing the braces. Your cooperation in wearing the retainer is crucial to prevent unwanted movement of your teeth.
After completing the active treatment phase, you must wear your retainer for a minimum of 20 hours per day for several months, including during sleep. As the stability of your teeth improves, your wear time will be reduced, and eventually, you will only need to wear the retainers at night.
PHASE ONE RETAINERS
Once Phase I or early/interceptive orthodontic treatment is finished (typically between ages 7-10), it is important to maintain the expansion of your dental arches and the space created for your permanent teeth with expanders or limited braces. Without your full cooperation, unfavorable movement can occur, making the second phase of your treatment (full braces when all permanent teeth are in) longer and more challenging.
After completing Phase 1 treatment, you should wear your retainer(s) for a minimum of 12 hours per day for several months, including during sleep. Put the retainers in as soon as you come home from school and wear them throughout the afternoon and evening. Remember to brush your teeth and the retainers after dinner, snacks, and before bedtime. In the morning, remove the retainers, brush your teeth and the retainers, and store them in the retainer case at home while you go to school.
As the stability of your treatment outcome improves, you will eventually only need to wear the Phase 1 retainers at night. The decision to stop wearing the Phase 1 retainer will be made by the doctor once most of your permanent teeth have erupted.
FOR ALL TYPES OF RETAINERS:
After each meal, brush your retainers with a regular toothbrush and water. You can also use soap or toothpaste if desired. Keeping them clean is important!
When you’re not wearing your retainers, always make sure to store them in your retainer case. Your speech may be slightly affected for a day or two, but it will quickly return to normal. You may experience an increase in saliva flow temporarily. Initially, the retainers may feel tight, but they will adjust and become more comfortable as your teeth adapt. The retention phase of your treatment lasts around 12 months and is included in your treatment fee. After this period, there will be a nominal charge for retainer adjustments.
If your retainer is lost or damaged, there will be a replacement laboratory charge. Please contact us immediately if you lose or break your retainers so we can arrange for their replacement. If you go without wearing your retainers for even just one to two weeks, they may no longer fit properly, and new ones may be needed.
- Allow your pet dog or cat to have access to your retainers as they may damage them.
- Wear retainers during intense sports activities or while swimming.
- Place your retainers in a napkin while eating, as this is a common cause of loss.
- Put your retainers in boiling water.
- ALWAYS BRING YOUR RETAINERS WITH YOU FOR RETAINER CHECK VISITS!
Dr Tsibel’s tip/guide for long-term retention:
After you are done with the active retention phase at our office, continue to use the retainers several nights each week if you want to retain the present alignment of your teeth and avoid nature from taking its course. How often you will need to continue to use the retainers varies from one person to the next. After a while you yourself can determine the right schedule needed for your teeth. Increase the interval between retainer-wear (by a day or two) until the retainers start to feel a little tight when you place them at bedtime. This tightness is a sign that the interval is a little too long and the teeth are beginning to shift, so reduce the interval by a day or so. In another few months you can try to increase the interval again. This should be a good guide of how many nights per week you’ll need to wear your retainers to keep that straight smile!