RetentionCongratulations! You have completed the active phase of orthodontic treatment!
During the active phase of your treatment, your teeth were moved into their current position. Now, you have to help keep your teeth in place. That's where the next phase of treatment – retention – comes in and it is every bit as important as the active phase. Wearing retainers as instructed by Dr. Chapman is simple, but it requires your cooperation for success.
Do Your Part To Retain Your Smile
- Wear your retainers full time, until Dr. Chapman instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating. Don't wrap them in a napkin or tissue – store them in their case! (Most appliances are tossed or lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Brush your retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm, not hot water. Brushing removes the plaque and helps eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can also be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- 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 us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins, and pets!
- Avoid flipping your retainer with your tongue. This can cause damage to your teeth or break your retainer.
More than 25% of orthodontic patients will need to wear braces again because they didn't wear their retainers as instructed. Everyone's teeth shift throughout life, whether you've had braces or not. That's why retainers should be worn as instructed if you want your teeth to remain straight.