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Why You Need to Wear Retainers After Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics straighten you teeth to correct crooked teeth, misalignment, a bad bite, situations that can cause problems with your oral health, talking, chewing food correctly and becoming cavity-prone.

Whether of not you use metal or ceramic braces or clear plastic aligners to get the job done, after your treatment is finished, we need to make sure your beautiful smile stays that way.

The job of your retainers is to keep your teeth in place. Your retainer will keep your teeth from naturally shifting  and allow the teeth to adjust to their new positions over time instead of migrating back to their original positions.

Early on, after you first finish your Orthodontic treatment is the most crucial time to wear your retainers. In the beginning you will need to wear your retainers around the clock. As time goes by, you will need to wear the retainers less and less. 

Types of retainers

Fixed Retainers: called permanent retainers is a wire cemented to the back of your teeth ( often the lower front) to keep them in their proper position. For some patients, they will need to be kept there permanently and for others they may only need to stay a year.

Hawley Retainers: probably the most common of retainers, made from acrylic and metal that conforms to your mouth's shape while being held in place using a wire that goes around your teeth. This retainer is removed for brushing and eating.

Invisible Retainers: Clear plastic retainers look like you are not waring them, and you will take them out when you eat or brush your teeth.

How Long Do You Need to Wear Your Retainers?

Dr. Kapila, our orthodontist at Petaluma Dental Group, will determine how many hours a day you will need to wear your retainer. This will be determined by the type of retainer you will wear and how much your teeth had to shift from their original position. For children and teens, you might need to wear if full time for from three - six months, followed by a couple of years at night only. 

If you are an adult, your retainer will need to be worn more frequently. Aging can cause your mouth's shape and face to change, so you may need to wear your retainer at night or have a permanent retainer. 

Wearing your Retainer is Important!

Without a retainer, your teeth will eventually shift back close to their original position. You can protect your investment of time, energy and finances by making a commitment to wearing your retainers and keeping your follow-up appointments regularly.

Retainer Instructions

• Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise

• Take your retainers out when eating and brushing and put them in a case

• When retainers are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case

• Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and tooth paste. Use warm but not hot

water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. You may also use denture

cleaner to clean your retainers

• Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, dishwasher, bleach and napkins

• 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 if your retainers need aadjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself

• Always bring your retainers to your appointments

• Remove retainers when swimming

Feel free to call us anytime if you have any questions about your retainers. We are here to help!

(707) 762-0067

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