Life After Treatment - Retainers


Retention and Retainer Wear: The Key to Long-Term Success

After completing all orthodontic treatment, it is imperative to use some form of retainer for a specified duration, as suggested by your orthodontist. Our primary objective throughout the treatment process was to achieve proper teeth alignment, and now we must ensure that they remain in their desired position. Neglecting to employ a retention method would result in the teeth gradually reverting back toward their original misalignment, undoing all the progress made during active treatment. Therefore, incorporating an effective retainer is crucial in maintaining the achieved results and preventing any potential relapse.

Guideline for retainers:

  • Retainer Wear: Wear your retainer full-time unless Dr. Benson instructs otherwise.
  • Eating Time: Remove retainers during meals, but make sure to always store them in their case for safekeeping.
  • Cleaning Routine: Give your retainers some love by brushing them just like you do with your teeth. Alternatively, you can also use store-bought cleaners.
  • Beware of Furry Friends: Dogs have a peculiar affinity for retainers as they smell like delicious food. Keep an eye out and ensure they're safely stored.
  • Speech Challenges: Initially, speaking may feel awkward with the new addition in your mouth. Overcome this hurdle by practicing reading aloud or simply calling up a friend.
  • No Extreme Heat or Dishwashers Allowed: Avoid boiling or putting your retainers in the dishwasher under any circumstances, as it will cause them to melt.
  • Replacement Fee Alert: Losing or breaking your precious retainers comes with consequences - be prepared for replacement fees and the need for new dental impressions.
  • Longevity Through Proper Care: With proper care, these retainers will stand by you for years on end, maintaining their effectiveness and functionality over time.
  • Always Bring Them Along! :Make sure to never forget your retainers when attending check-up visits; they're an essential part of ensuring everything stays aligned as intended!

There are different types of retainers on the market, and Dr. Benson will carefully assess your specific case to determine which one would be most suitable for you. Retainers can either be removable or fixed, depending on your needs and preferences. As time progresses, it is likely that you will gradually wear them less frequently under Dr. Benson's guidance.

However, it is important to understand that retention is a lifelong commitment due to the fact that our teeth continue shifting throughout our lives. Initially, after having braces removed, you will need to wear a retainer 24 hours a day, as recommended by Dr. Benson, for approximately one year post-braces in order to stabilize your teeth properly. Subsequently, wearing the retainer only at night for several years should suffice in maintaining their alignment efficiently. To ensure minimal tooth movement over time, it is advisable to insert the retainers once a week after this phase has passed; this remains crucial for preserving the results achieved through orthodontic treatment.

Remember that if you experience any issues with your retainer's fitment, such as discomfort or tightness when placing it on your teeth, this occurs because your teeth are changing naturally rather than due to any fault with the retainer itself. In case of losing or breaking a retainer accidentally during its usage period—no need to panic! Simply contact our office right away so we can schedule an appointment to take new impressions and subsequently send them off to the lab for manufacturing purposes.

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