Nguyen Orthodontics

DR HUY D. NGUYEN Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

509-1110 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto ON Canada M2K 2W2    Tel:416-222-5580

Retention

Wear Your Retainer

Now that your braces have been removed, you and your orthodontist want you to keep that healthy, beautiful smile. Your orthodontist has determined that the best way for you to do that is by wearing a retainer(s).

While wearing a retainer is simple, it is a very complex and powerful appliance. A retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. A retainer is designed to keep your teeth where your braces moved them. Wearing your retainer as instructed is the key to maintaining the success of your orthodontic treatment.

There are a variety of retainers. Some are removable and some are fixed - that is, they are cemented to your teeth. Your orthodontist will provide the kind of retainer that best maintains the new positions of your teeth.


Take Care of Your Retainers

Take care of your retainers and they'll take care of you. It's really up to you. If your retainers are to do their important job, you must do three things:
After Orthodontic Treatment

1. Wear Them As Directed


Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow your orthodontist's instructions for wearing them. And they're doing their jobs only when they're in your mouth, not in your pocket or purse. Remember: wearing that retainer after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get.

2. Keep Them Clean


If you've been fitted with a removable retainer, it's easy to clean when you take it out. Your orthodontist will show you how. If your retainer is attached to your teeth, it's important to brush thoroughly after meals and clean under the wire with dental floss at least once a day. Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your fixed retainer. If you can't brush after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth out with water until you have a chance to brush thoroughly.

Whether your retainer is removable or fixed, make sure you see your dentist for a thorough cleaning every six months (or more often, if recommended).

3. Handle Them With Care


Remember: whenever your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case for safety. Retainers are easier to lose than you think, and they're expensive to replace. They fall out of pockets and purses. If you take your retainer out to eat and wrap it in a napkin, you may accidentally throw it away. When they're just lying around, retainers have a way of falling on the floor and being stepped on, or even being picked up by pets.

If you're instructed to wear your retainer for only a part of the day, keep it in its case when it's not being worn, so it won't be damaged or lost.

Make Your Retainer Work for You

Your retainer is specially designed by your orthodontist to help you maintain the results from your treatment. Following these few simple guidelines for wearing and taking care of your retainer will make your treatment last. Your reward will be a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.

Contact Your Orthodontist Immediately if There is a Problem with Your Retainer

If your retainer should break or be lost, contact your orthodontist at once for a replacement. If your retainer is not fitting properly - which may happen if you do not wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist - or if your fixed retainer should become loose, call your orthodontist right away for an appointment.
After Orthodontic Treatment

Follow Your Orthodontist's Instructions

Your retainer is designed to perform a vital role in your overall orthodontic treatment. It's very important that you wear your retainer exactly as you have been instructed. Otherwise, your treatment goals may not be maintained. If you're wearing retainers after braces and you don't follow your doctor's instructions, your teeth could move toward their original positions, erasing some of the great results you achieved from treatment. You may need to wear your retainers quite a while, so be patient. Each person's case is different. Follow your orthodontist's instructions for wearing your retainers. In some cases, permanent retention will be necessary. Your orthodontist will determine how long you'll need to wear retainers.

How Long are Retainers Worn?

The final observation and retention period of treatment normally spans approximately two years. During this period, appointments are scheduled with decreasing frequency. Usually retainers are worn at all times during the first six to 12 months after braces are removed, except when eating, brushing, flossing or during active sports. As retention continues, the retainers are generally worn at night for an additional year and then progressively less as instructed. Each person's requirements are different and a longer period or a different schedule may be recommended if facial growth is not complete. In some cases, indefinite wear on a part-time basis may be recommended to maintain the desired changes that have been achieved.
After Orthodontic Treatment

What Kinds of Retainers can I Choose from?

There are many types and designs of both upper and lower retainers. Your orthodontist has prescribed custom retainers that are best for you. But retainers can only do their jobs if you do yours by wearing them as instructed by your orthodontist.

Will My Teeth Move Back after Treatment?

Orthodontists are aware that as retainers are discontinued, there may be minor changes in tooth position. The position and fit of teeth generally changes throughout your life, with or without orthodontic treatment. Our goal in the retention phase of your treatment is to limit these changes to the natural process of accommodation while maintaining both a good functional and an aesthetic result.

A Word about Final Records

We will be recommending a set of X-rays, photographs and models of your teeth soon after treatment is completed. These will be used to evaluate your treatment, plan the retention period and determine space for your wisdom teeth.


 
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