Retainers help to keep your teeth in their final positions after treatment. When the braces come off, the goal is to keep your teeth from moving back to where they were before. We call this the retention phase.
At Glass Orthodontics, we are strict about retention. That’s why we request your full compliance during the retention period. Without retainers, your teeth may move back to their original places. When this happens, you risk requiring more orthodontic treatment as well as associated costs.
To keep your teeth where we want them, Dr. Glass begins retention immediately after removing your braces. This period typically lasts for about one year. During this time, we strongly recommend that you wear your retainer unless you are brushing, flossing, or eating a meal.
In addition to wearing your retainer as instructed, cleaning it is just as important. Invisalign users may be used to cleaning aligners daily. If you’ve had traditional metal braces, you will need to remember to remove your retainers each night and clean them thoroughly. Bacteria on your retainers can lead to bacteria and plaque buildup on your teeth, causing gingivitis and cavities.
You can clean your appliance in multiple ways. Most patients use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to gently scrub the retainer clean on all sides. If you’d like, you can also soak your retainers in denture cleaner before brushing the retainers lightly with a toothbrush. If you prefer more natural products, you may swap denture cleaner for one part distilled white vinegar with three parts water for 15 minutes.
We look forward to seeing your new, beautiful smile and helping you make the most of your orthodontic treatment. Be sure to contact us at any time if you’re currently in braces and have questions about your upcoming retention period.