Care and Use of Your Retainer
A retainer does just that – it retains – or holds the result that you have achieved, with straight, correctly positioned teeth. Until today, your teeth have been moving as the braces repositioned them. As braces are removed, your teeth are very mobile – easily moved – because they have not been in one position long enough for new bone to form around the roots. Your retainer holds your teeth still so that new bone can form around the roots, and the teeth will stabilize in the correction positions.
Your retainer must be worn at all times for the first year after your braces are removed, except when eating, brushing your teeth and playing sports. Your speech will be affected for a few days, and you will produce more saliva at first. Avoid flipping your retainer with your tongue. This can damage your teeth and gums or break your retainer.
Whenever you retainer is not in your mouth, place it in your case. Never wrap your retainer in a paper napkin; it may get thrown away by accident. Keep your retainer away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them. Avoid putting your retainer in your pocket without your case because you might bend the wires or break the acrylic.
Clean your retainer several times each day. Gently scrub it with toothpaste using a denture brush or toothbrush. You can periodically soak your retainer in a glass of water with a denture cleaning tablet. Never boil or microwave your retainer. Please keep it out of the washing machine and dryer!
Try to rinse off your retainer whenever you remove it to avoid saliva drying which can cause an odor or hard white film buildup.
If your retainer is accidentally bent, make no attempt to adjust it yourself. Please call our office for an appointment. If a small piece of acrylic breaks, this is usually not a problem because the retainer will still fit.
Always remember to bring your retainer with you when you have an appointment. Dr. Mibab will check and adjust it as needed. An additional charge will be incurred for lost or broken retainers. Please contact our office as soon as possible to have a replacement retainer.
Dr. Mibab believes in lifetime retention, especially of the lower front teeth which have the greatest tendency to relapse and become crowded. Most of our patients have a permanent retainer wire-bonded behind the lower front teeth. Care should be taken to keep this wire clean by brushing and flossing it with Superfloss or floss threaders.
This retainer is usually kept in place permanently, unless oral hygiene is a problem. If it is removed, then a removable lower retainer must be used.