The day you have been waiting for has finally come. Your teeth are properly aligned, and it is finally time for your braces to come off. With your braces off, you can show off a more beautiful, more confident smile. While your braces have moved your teeth into their proper positions, it is important to know that once your braces come off that it will be possible for your teeth to start shifting out of place. Fortunately, Sawrie Orthodontics can help. With a retainer, you will be able to maintain the results of your treatment, keeping your smile beautiful for a lifetime.
What Is a Retainer?
A retainer is a removable appliance that is provided to you as soon as your orthodontic treatment is complete. Made from a mold of your mouth, the retainer uses a thermoplastic base that rests against your palate and a wire that surrounds the teeth. The job of the retainer is to help stabilize your teeth in their proper alignment. It is crucial that you wear your retainer as instructed so that you can maintain the results of your treatment. If you neglect to wear the appliance, it can result in the teeth shifting out of alignment, which could lead to the need for new orthodontic treatment later. In the early stages following your orthodontic treatment, you will be instructed to wear your retainer day and night, only removing it to eat and brush your teeth. After a while, the retainer will only need to be worn at night. It is important that you do not forget to put your retainer in before you go to bed. Consistency with your retainer is key so that you can maintain your beautiful new smile.
How Do I Take Care of My Retainer?
It is important that you take proper care of your retainer. The base and the wires can collect plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Brush your retainer gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild soap. A denture cleaner can also be effective. Do not use toothpaste, as the abrasives in it can cause tiny scratches that provide a hiding place for oral bacteria. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be stored in a hard case out of reach from small hands and curious pets. Do not leave your retainer exposed to high heat or direct sunlight, as these factors can quickly damage it and significantly reduce its effectiveness. Do not store the retainer in your car and do not wash it in the dishwasher.
A fixed retainer is a retainer that is bonded to the backs of your teeth. It is designed to provide stronger retention and is meant to stay in place permanently unless it is determined otherwise. Permanent retainers are often used in situations such as bruxism, spaces between your teeth before treatment, teeth that were severely rotated, or playing reed instruments. It is important that you clean around the brackets and under the wires to prevent plaque and bacterial buildup. This will aid in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Wearing your retainer after your braces come off will help you to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment long after your braces come off. For more information, call Sawrie Orthodontics today at (423) 624-8217.