When we remove your braces, we will begin the “retention” stage of your treatment. Retainers are forever! Your final orthodontic result depends on them, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.
Below are instructions for proper wear and care. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have questions.
- Wear your retainers full time, until Dr. Skelton instructs otherwise. They’re just as important as braces, because they keep your teeth where the braces moved them.
- Take your retainers out when eating, and always put them in their case! They are easy to lose in school lunch rooms or restaurants; a napkin is NOT a good place to keep your retainer during a meal!
- Remove your retainers when brushing and clean them thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm (not hot) water. Brushing them removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but brushing is the most effective way to keep your retainers clean.
- When not in your mouth, retainers should ALWAYS go in their case. We can’t stress this enough. Besides getting lost or accidentally thrown away, a “free range” retainer is in danger of getting chewed on by pets. We have no idea why, but dogs seem to love retainers!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak, but the best way to get around a little bit of slurring is to practice speaking. Eventually your mouth and tongue will adapt to your appliance.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or if you need them adjusted, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- You should always bring your retainers to every appointment. We will check them to confirm they are still fitting the way they should be and make any needed adjustments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive, but with proper care, they’ll last the duration of your treatment. If you do lose your appliance, please call us for information on replacing it.
- Retainers can be damaged by heat, so keep them away from hot water, hot car dashboards, washing machines, microwaves and stovetops, and anything else that is capable of melting plastic. You want them to stay shaped to your mouth!