Congratulations!!!! You finally got your braces off! You can now eat the sticky, chewy and crispy things that you had to put off for two years. However, we are not done yet! It is extremely important to wear retainers as your doctor prescribes to maintain the great smile we’ve worked toward. We don’t want all that time and effort in braces to go to waste! Teeth have the memory to move back to their original location especially within the first year out of braces.
Initially, you may find it is difficult to speak with your new retainers. Don’t worry! Just like how you got used to your braces in the beginning, your teeth, tongue and muscles will adapt to this new neighbor! Just practice speaking with them in and you will learn to speak properly in no time! Here are the instructions:
- Wear your retainer at all times for the first six months, unless the doctor instructs otherwise. Then you can switch to night time wear after six months.
- Take your retainer out when eating and always put it back in its case! If left on a napkin, you will quickly learn that you will lose it! When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets also love to chew on them!
- Clean the retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste every time before wearing it. This will prevent plaque and calculus build up and keep them smelling fresh! Use warm, but not hot, water.
- With the clear retainers, Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing. To maintain the clarity of clear retainers, you can brush with dish soap instead of toothpaste and use the orthodontic cleaners twice a week.
Some other things to keep in mind
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming or play a sport.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and napkins.