Once your orthodontic treatment has been completed, the period called retention begins. In the retention period, the teeth are held in their new positions so as to prevent them from moving back to their original positions (this is called relapse).
The teeth are retained using fixed or removable retainers. Your orthodontist will advise you on the type of retainer that is best for you.
To prevent relapse, the following rules should be observed:
- Wear the retainers at all times including sleep (unless you have been specifically instructed otherwise). Retainers can be removed for eating, tooth-brushing and while engaged in active sports. After a few months of full-time wear, you will most likely be instructed to wear your retainers only while sleeping. You should wear your retainers to bed for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight.
- When necessary, take the retainers out and carefully brush your teeth.
- After you have brushed your teeth, clean the retainers by holding them in the palm of your hand and carefully brush the inside and outside surfaces.
- Wear the retainers as soon as you have cleaned them.
- Be gentle when removing and inserting the retainers.
- The plastic taste sometimes found in a new retainer will disappear in a day or two.
- If you keep the retainers in place, your speech will be completely normal in a few days. Reading aloud to yourself can help you become more quickly accustomed to their presence.
- Please do not wrap the retainers in a paper napkin or tissue because someone will throw them away! Do not put them in your pocket because they may break. Please put them in the plastic container provided.
Usually, retainers are not broken and cannot be lost while in the mouth. However, should they become lost or broken, please call Pristine Orthodontics immediately, so that we can replace them as soon as possible before any tooth movement can occur.