Retention Stage of Orthodontic Treatment
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months and your final result depends on your orthodontic retainers, so it’s important to follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. At Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics, we recommend that you remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Removable Orthodontic Retainers
Maxillary wrap-around retainers are your upper retainers, which are removable. You must be very careful when handling your upper retainers, as they are fragile and costly to replace. You are given a special case for your retainer; please make sure you keep them in this case when they are not being worn. To clean your retainers, brush them with toothpaste (sometimes with denture cleaner) and warm water.
Your orthodontic retainers should be worn at all times except while eating and brushing your teeth. Your retainer should also be removed when participating in sports that require a mouthguard or while swimming. After 12 months of full-time wear, we may revise your retention treatment, allowing the retainer to strictly be worn at night.
Here are some other tips about caring for your retainers:
- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- 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.
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainer 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 your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.