Retaining Your Smile
It is an exciting day when you get your braces off. Once your beautiful and healthy smile is achieved, your braces will be removed and you will move into the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment. Retention is a critical part of your orthodontic journey, as it preserves your smile and keeps your teeth from moving back out of alignment. You have put hard work into achieving your smile and it makes sense that you would want to maintain it.
Studies have shown that without proper retention, teeth can stubbornly shift back to their pre-corrected placement. That’s why we recommend protecting your smile after orthodontic treatment by wearing a retainer. This prevents your teeth from slipping back into their old position.
An impression is taken of your new smile once your braces are removed. The retainer is then custom made for your smile and adjusted periodically by Dr. Snyder to keep your teeth in the desired position. Snyder Orthodontics suggests the following tips to ensure that your retention plan is successful:
- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- 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 water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Retainer Brite and Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but they 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!
- 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 your retainer will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.