The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the soft tissues and bone surrounding the teeth are still stabilizing for multiple months after the removal of braces, it is very important that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers can result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could cause a need for re-treatment.
How retainers are worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout your lifetime, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear their retainer indefinitely. A patient should wear their retainer all the time for one year following the removal of braces.
After about one year, the patient can just wear the retainer while they sleep. This is to allow the wisdom teeth to develop without ruining the patient’s beautiful smile. Dr.Grob will see you every 6 to 9 months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and an X-ray will be taken every 1 ½ years.
Once the wisdom teeth have been decided on, wear your retainer at least one night per week. This is because, as you age, the muscles surrounding your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd.
How to care for retainers
- Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
- Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to extreme heat, so they should be kept away from dishwasher, heaters, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
- Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
- Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
Because retainers are worn for multiple years, they will need to be replaced periodically. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause bone or gum problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Grob prescribes. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles tighten. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your 6 month check-ups.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Grinding or clenching of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Mouth breathing
- Playing a musical instruments with a reed
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Lip sucking
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Pen or pencil biting
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough flossing and brushing techniques. His or her family dentist should see the patient at least every 6 months for dental examinations and cleaning.