We are frequently asked: "How long do I wear my retainers?" For as long as you want your teeth straight. A recent study showed that if you don't wear your retainers you have an 85% chance of relapse and crooked teeth again. By wearing your retainers enough to keep them fitting, your teeth will be straight for a lifetime. For some people it requires them to wear them every night, others only once a week. So do your part and wear them and you will never have to have braces again. Always remember to keep you retainers fitting.
- There are several types of retainers we use in our practice. Each has a slightly different set of wearing instructions. As a general rule the clear "invisalign like" retainers are worn as much as possible for two weeks, then just while asleep. The wire retainers are worn for 12 to 14 hours a day until instructed to just sleep in them.
- Take your retainers out when eating... and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.) Never, under any circumstance, wrap them in a napkin, tissue, or a paper towel. You or someone else will throw them away (dumpster diving anyone????).
- Clean "wire 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. Clear retainers should not be brushed because they will become foggy or opaque. Soak them in cleaner or vinegar. And finally, don't forget to wash the retainer case.
- 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 clearly. Practice in speaking, reading, or singing out loud will speed this adjustment period.
- 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 your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive... 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.