Congratulations, you have reached a milestone in your orthodontic treatment. Our patients begin the retention period of their orthodontic care when braces are removed. This phase is both exciting and extremely important. A period of time is needed to stabilize the entire mouth once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions. The soft tissues, surrounding bone, the tongue and lips must adapt to the new dental alignment. Up to this point it has been a team effort, but now the retention phase is up to “YOU.”
Today, you will be fitted for a lower fixed lingual retainer, a removable lower (clear) Essix retainer and a removable upper Essix retainer.
- The retainer that has been bonded (lower fixed lingual retainer) will be worn indefinitely as long as there are no problems with oral hygiene.
- The upper and lower Essix retainers need to be worn for 12-14 hours per day for six weeks. Remove these retainers to eat and brush your teeth.
An upper Hawley retainer will be fitted and placed approximately six weeks after the removal of the braces. This upper retainer should be worn indefinitely at bedtime. This final retainer must be fitted within approximately six weeks to ensure proper retention. Your teeth may shift if retainers are not fitted within this time. This may result in the need for a new retainer and additional lab fees.
To maintain a beautiful smile:
- Wear your retainers as prescribed-retainers do their best while in the mouth
- Do not let your retainers get damaged or bent (keep it in the case when not in the mouth)
- Do not leave your retainer within reach of pets
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and a clear mouth rinse. 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
- Visit your general dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings
Call our office immediately should a retainer become lost or broken. This will require an appointment for an impression and a fee will be applied.
Wells Orthodontics will monitor the retainers for 12 months. You will only need to be seen at your discretion after the 12 month period. Retention is up to the patient, but please let us know if we can help in any way.