Wrapping up your orthodontic treatment is an exciting time! Your hard work is rewarded with a beautiful smile. However, the work doesn’t end here. It is crucial that you continue to take great care of your teeth in order to maintain your new smile. This includes wearing your retainer, which allows your smile to last a lifetime. Keep reading for some advice on retainers from Dr. Christopher Murphy at Southern Maine Orthodontics.
Retainers hold your teeth in their new positions while bone tissue rebuilds around them, stabilizing them. This process takes time, and it is important that you continue to wear your retainer after this process has been completed. Your bite can change over time as bone continues to break down and rebuild. Wearing your retainer will help preserve your smile throughout this process.
Additionally, your orthodontist may have given you a removable or permanent retainer. Removable retainers can be put in and taken out. Permanent retainers are placed and removed by your orthodontist. Each is a custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of your teeth. Your orthodontist will pick the retainer that works best for your teeth.
It is important that you take good care of your retainer once it is in your possession. Here are some good rules to follow:
- Always carry a retainer case with you – when your removable retainer is not in your mouth, put it in its case.
- Never wrap your retainer in a napkin – it’s too easy to throw away.
- Keep your retainer out of the reach of pets – animals don’t realize a retainer isn’t a chew toy.
- Avoid heat – your retainer can become deformed if it’s left on a heater, a hot stove, or in a hot car.
- Keep your retainer clean – your orthodontist will give you instructions about this
Now that your treatment is completed and you have your retainer, it is up to you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. If your retainer gets broken or lost, contact your orthodontist immediately. Feel free to contact our office with any questions about retainers or orthodontic treatment.