When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase is the most important part of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Wear your retainers just as Dr. Snead instructs you to. Always put your retainers in their case! ( most retainers are lost in school lunch rooms and restaurants.) Clean your retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and mouthwash (occasionly toothpaste) Use cold water but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic retainer cleaners can be used but doesn't take the place of brushing. When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer 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 them faster. Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call the office immediately. Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years! Remove retainers when swimming. Always keep them away from hot water, hot cars, pockets, washing machines and napkins. Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Essix retainers are the most common used retainers in our office. They are clear and only need to be worn for 10 hours while sleeping. The are easier to wear. Less chance to lose during the day while at school. They are also less expensive to replace if lost. Must be worn every night or teeth will start to move. You will continue to wear until otherwise instructed by Dr. Snead.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with the foods they bite directly into (apples, ribs, corn on the cob) that may cause the bonding to break loose and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire. They must be flossed daily to prevent plaque and calculus build-up.
The Hawley retainer, is another type of retainer. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. We sometimes make these retainers in special circumstances of needing to move a tooth, or hold a space for a tooth to be replaced etc. They are generally worn full-time as opposed to just 10 hours a night like the essix retainer. They also are made if it is the patient/parent preference. They will last longer but also cost more to be replaced if lost.