• The Importance of Your Retainer

  • RetainerOne of the greatest days in a teenager’s life is the day their braces come off in our Frankfort orthodontist office.  Months of hiding your smile, the hassle of food particles stuck in the brackets, and all the other nuances of wearing braces finally pays off to reveal sparkling teeth, perfectly aligned. 

    But, orthodontia care doesn’t stop with just braces.  Now that your teeth are straight, we need to keep them there.  A retainer is usually fitted so that your teeth will stay in place after the braces are removed.  This is a dental appliance that can either be affixed to your teeth or removable.  Braces guide teeth into proper placement by slowly applying pressure in order to move the teeth.  The shape and structure of your bones are changed through this process.  Once the braces come off, a retainer is a helpful and necessary way to maintain the new line up of your pearly whites.

    In Frankfort, orthodontist Dr. Cash will map out your treatment plan during an in-office consultation so you will better understand the role your retainer will play.  In most cases, it is recommended to wear your retainer at all times, at first, unless brushing and flossing, playing contact sports, or eating.  Proper use of your retainer will ensure your teeth’s alignment doesn’t revert back to their old position.

    Oral health care stays the same with the use of a retainer, with one minor addition.  Frankfort orthodontist patients still need to brush twice a day and floss, but you’ll also want to brush the retainer after eating.  Below are some helpful tips in caring for your dental retainer:

    Retainer Care

    • Remove the retainer when brushing your teeth and brush separately with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste.  Finish your oral regimen reinserting the retainer in your mouth after rinsing off the toothpaste.
    • Never eat or chew gum when wearing your retainer.  Gum is easily stuck to the appliance and some foods, like apples, will bend or break the structure of the retainer.
    • Store your retainer in the plastic box our office provided if you have a removable retainer.  Lost retainers are common in teens and often wind up in the school’s garbage.
    • Clean the retainer any time you drop it so as not to introduce unwanted bacteria into your mouth.
    • Follow your Frankfort orthodontist’s instructions for wearing the device so your teeth have the time they need to stabilize in their new position.  Relapsing to their old space is problematic if a retainer is not worn for the instructed time period.

    In most cases, retainer use will be scaled down according to your own unique orthodontia treatment plan.  Once your teeth and oral tissue have become accustomed to their placement, you may only need to wear the retainer at night.

    If you are in need of braces or have questions regarding your retainer, contact us to schedule an appointment.  You can also keep up with our Frankfort orthodontist team by visiting our Facebook page.