The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How Retainers are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. Initial retainer wear should be 24 hours. This will be adjusted at each visit over the next 24 months. Your 100% commitment to excellence continues with superb retainer wear. Lack of retainer wear will result in tooth movement which will result in tight-fitting retainers… eventually, they will not fit. Movement can be prevented with excellent retainer wear.
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. Initial retainer wear should be 24 hours. This will be adjusted at each visit over the next 24 months. Your 100% commitment to excellence continues with superb retainer wear. Lack of retainer wear will result in tooth movement which will result in tight-fitting retainers; eventually, they will not fit. Movement can be prevented with excellent retainer wear.
The patient can eventually wear the retainers just at night, usually 5 nights per week as “pajamas for your mouth” for old times sake. This is designed to allow the bone to form around the teeth for the stability of the end result.
Dr. Miller will take final records, including X-rays, and make recommendations for the wisdom teeth and retainer wear. Parents of children undergoing treatment must be present when the final treatment is reviewed, and the results will be presented from the beginning to final result.
How to Care for Retainers
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth, as plaque tends to cling to the surfaces of the retainers just as it clings to your teeth. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and toothpaste will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Kleenite or Stain Awat, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
This is a retainer wire bonded from the inside (lingual). Complications associated with it is cleanliness due to plaque and calculus build-up, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Also, if the bond is broken and not seen to correct, tooth movement will occur.
If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Miller prescribes.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing musical instruments with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Dental Examinations and Cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. His or her family dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.