Now that you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment, it’s time to embark on to the next stage of your treatment: wearing retainers. Retainers can be removable or fixed in place. They are designed to hold your teeth in place and prevent newly straightened teeth from shifting or causing orthodontic relapse. Dr. Wayne L. Sankey provides retainers as an orthodontic service to his patients to prevent orthodontic relapse.
At Flower Mound Orthodontics, we are committed to providing high-quality solutions for our patients. Dr. Wayne L. Sankey will evaluate your teeth and jaw to determine if removable or permanent retainers are right for you. We will discuss the pros and cons of each to ensure that patients get the best treatment to match their lifestyle and keep their bite in position. To learn more about your options, contact our Lewisville area orthodontics office to schedule a consultation.
Why Should I Wear a Retainer?
Even after your teeth are moved into their desired position, factors such as teeth grinding, chewing, and growth can encourage orthodontic relapse. Most orthodontists will recommend wearing a retainer to reduce the risk of your teeth shifting. To avoid any complications after completing your orthodontic treatment, it is important to wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist. Once you start wearing your retainer, Dr. Sankey will schedule periodic check-ups to ensure your teeth remain in their proper position.
Types of Retainers
Essix retainers help guide and position your teeth to create a more aligned smile. While orthodontic treatment can help reposition the teeth, once they are set in place, they can still shift. An Essix retainer can help your teeth stay in their intended position after you have completed your orthodontic treatment. These clear, custom aligners fit comfortably over your teeth, allowing you to complete your final stage of orthodontic treatment comfortably and without irritation.
Unlike traditional retainers, Essix retainers are made of translucent plastic, which makes them virtually invisible and far less noticeable than traditional wire retainers. Patients also have the option to remove their retainer to brush and floss as they please; which also allows for a deeper clean with the retainer itself.
Bonded retainers are attached to the back of the teeth on either the upper arch, lower arch, or both to maintain tooth position without a removable appliance. This type of retainer is attached and removed in our office. Bonded retainers can offer smile retention with less daily maintenance. We will demonstrate how to brush and floss to keep your smile healthy without damaging your bonded retainer. We will also recommend regular checkups to ensure that your teeth remain in position and that your oral hygiene is in check.
With good oral hygiene and routine dental care, a bonded retainer can last for several years. The condition of your retainer should be monitored regularly to look for damage or changes that could impact your lasting smile.
Do you have further questions about retainers? Continue reading to learn more about how a retainer may help your smile and find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
How do I clean my retainer?
Our team will instruct you on the proper ways to clean your retainer, which may include brushing your retainer before you put them in and after they are removed. You can also clean your retainer with a gentle cleanser, which is similar to the solution used to clean dentures. A few simple tips to consider when caring for your retainer:
- Avoid applying heat of any kind to your retainer.
- Rinse your retainer with cold water every time after removing it, and before placing it in your mouth.
- Store your retainer in its case when you are not wearing it.
- Brush and clean your retainer after each meal.
How long does a retainer last?
With proper care and maintenance, your retainer should last many years and support the health and structure of your new smile. We also offer an affordable Retainers 4 Life program to qualified patients. This program ensures that you always have access to replacement retainers.
What if my retainer fits loose?
First, make sure that you have placed the retainer in your mouth properly. Your retainer may have suffered some damage while in storage, so also make sure you are using the case your retainer came in, or an equivalent hard case. If there is give, and your retainer wiggles around too much, contact us for an adjustment.
What can you not eat with a retainer?
Patients should avoid eating popcorn, gum, chewy candy, nuts, and hard candy with a retainer. We discourage you from chewing ice and eating rough or chewy meats.
What can I soak my retainer in to keep it clean?
Most patients soak their retainer in water mixed with some baking soda overnight to keep it clean. Vinegar also acts as a cleaning agent, so some patients choose to soak their retainer in vinegar once a week.
Will my teeth shift without a retainer for 3 days?
You should wear your retainer as much as possible every day. The goal of the retainer is to hold your teeth in place. If you miss a day or two your teeth will not shift drastically, however, your retainer may feel tighter when you begin to wear it again. It is important not to miss days so that your teeth do not begin the shifting process.
Is it bad if my retainer is tight?
Retainers may feel tight at first, or after not wearing them for a day or two. If there is pain or discomfort trying to put your retainer in, do not force it over your teeth. Some tightness is normal, but forcing the appliance in through pain is not recommended and can cause dental issues.
Retainers in Flower Mound, TX
Learn more about retainers and our Retainers 4 Life program at Flower Mound Orthodontics. Our Flower Mound orthodontist and team will gladly answer any questions you have, and discuss all viable treatment options. Call 972.833.8212 to schedule an orthodontic appointment or request an appointment online.