You have made it through the orthodontic process! Your teeth look great, but you’re not done yet. You have entered the “retention phase” of your treatment, which will determine how your teeth will look for years to come!
When your braces are removed, your teeth may feel “loose” or “wobbly”. That’s because the bone and ligaments that surround and anchor your teeth have stretched and compressed. It will take months for your teeth to feel comfortable in their new positions, and it is during this time that your teeth will want to move back to their original positions. YOU, and only you can keep your smile looking great by wearing your retainers as directed! Remember, teeth can’t move when being held in place by a well fitting retainer!
Your retainers should be cleaned regularly with toothpaste and a toothbrush, and kept in a safe place (in their case) when not in your mouth. NEVER attempt to “sterilize” your retainers in hot water, boiling, or placing them in the microwave. Care should be taken when removing or inserting your retainers to prevent damaging the plastic. Avoid “biting” your retainers into place or playing with them while in your mouth. A retainer that is cared for will last for many years, whereas mistreating your retainers could become very costly.
Appointments during the “retention phase” give us an opportunity to check the fit of your retainers, your bite, and answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment. By using our digital scanner to create your impression, you will have a much better fit and your retainer will seat comfortably over your teeth with no poking or pinching. Any necessary adjustments should be made before you leave the office. Your goal at this point is to wear your retainers as much as directed to, making sure that they always fit snuggly into place. It is imperative that your retainers are worn full-time during the first two weeks after the braces are removed and for twelve hours a day for the second two weeks so your teeth will stay in their final positions. Full time wear is defined as 24 hours per day, 7 days a week with the exception of eating and brushing. You will be given guidelines regarding the frequency of your retainer wear. Your treatment plan includes seeing you at 4 weeks, again at 3 months from the date your braces were removed, and the last retainer check on your anniversary – 1 year from that day.
If you have had one of our digital impressions and you lose your retainer or just would like a fresh set, you can re-order them over the phone! As long as your original retainers still fit comfortably, any new retainers made from that original digital impression will fit comfortably too. We can create as many retainers from your original digital impression as you would like to order and you never have to leave home to do it! Just give our office call to place your order over the phone and your fresh set of retainers will be mailed directly to you within just a couple of days!
T|D|R proudly providing braces, Invisalign, and orthodontics to Rochester Hills, Birmingham, Novi, Shelby, Lake Orion, Troy, Bloomfield, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Northville, Livonia, Walled Lake, and surrounding communities with a long list of straight teeth and happy smiles! An orthodontist receives two to three years of education beyond dental school and are the only ones allowed to call themselves “orthodontists”. Only orthodontists may be members of the American Board of Orthodontists.