The retention phase is the most important part of the orthodontic treatment. The teeth have now been placed in their best possible positions. If you do not wear your retainers the specified time, your teeth will shift. Since retainers are removable, their use and care is entirely dependent upon the patient. Strict attention to the instructions below is absolutely necessary.
Wear your retainers full time, unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Krowicki.
Take your retainers out when eating, and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or if your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
The Essix Retainer is a customized thermoplastic clear retainer (pictured right). Follow the same instructions for the Hawley Retainer except for the following:
- The Essix retainer requires full time wear for only four days followed by night time wear on an indefinite basis.
- Do not brush your Essix retainer with toothpaste it will discolor the clear plastic and may crack the appliance. To keep it clean, gently wash with soap and water. A special cleaner called Retainer Brite is a very safe, effective way to clean your Essix retainer and prevent the bad odor and “retainer breath” that comes with poor retainer hygiene.
- Stick to your schedule, but if a few nights are missed, bite down on the retainer to seat it fully, then, wear it full time for a few days. The teeth may be a little sore, but should re-align in a short time.
- If the retainer becomes loose call our office immediately.
Instructions for the Lower Bonded Lingual Retainer: (shown below)
Please be aware that you are responsible for the care of the wire. Proper care includes:
- Careful, thorough brushing and flossing. This must be done daily. In addition to brushing, it’s essential that you floss between your teeth and into the gum areas below the wire. In order to do the best cleaning, most patients use a “floss threader” or “Super Floss”. When flossing be careful, not to push too hard on the wire. This can bend or dislodge it and will cause your teeth to shift. Failure to clean your teeth carefully will result in dental disease.
- If you're not certain how to clean around the wire, just ask and we'll be happy to show you the correct methods.
- Do not pick at the wire.
- Do not bend the wire. Unusually hard, sticky or brittle foods can bend the wire and shift your teeth.