Congratulations! You’ve completed your active orthodontic treatment and entered the most important part of your treatment. In order for your treatment to really count, you’ve got to remember to wear your retainer properly and consistently EVERY DAY! Otherwise, your bones and teeth will start to shift away from where the braces aligned them. Your retainer helps to prevent that shifting and will ensure you keep that beautiful smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
What To Expect From Your Retainer
Dr. Black has given you a retainer specific to your individual needs. Most people need to use a retainer of some kind for the rest of their lives to maintain their beautiful new smile. We will need to monitor your retainer periodically to make sure it’s doing its job properly. Although we can do small adjustments to correct little things, the retainer won’t work unless you wear it as instructed. How well your retainer works is completely up to you, so wear it properly!
Your teeth are used to being supported by your braces, and the retainers are something new. Your teeth may be sore for the first few days and you will prefer soft foods until they firm up. Chewing sugarless stick-free gum will help you adapt more quickly. An ibuprofen product, such as Advil®, will help with soreness. We strongly recommend you begin taking your pain reliever immediately and continue for three days without interruption to reduce any discomfort. The worst thing that you can do is take your retainer in and out frequently. This will only keep your teeth sore. The only way for the soreness to go away is to keep wearing the retainer constantly.
Cleaning Your Retainer
You should thoroughly brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. You may wish to occasionally soak your retainer in a denture cleaner to remove any deposits or bad taste.
Care of Your Retainer
Although it’s not fragile, your retainer can be damaged and any time it’s not in your mouth— where it will do its job— it should be in its case. Do not leave it wrapped in a napkin while eating or you can count on throwing it away at some point. Do not put it in your pocket or you will likely break it. Do not leave it in reach of your pets because they love retainers of any kind since they have your scent.
With a little care, your retainer will help keep your smile beautiful for many, many years.
If you have any questions, or if any problems come up, please call us. We are always happy to help in any way we can.