When we remove your braces, we will begin the "retention phase" of your orthodontic treatment. This phase is extremely important as it directly affects the long-term results of your orthodontic treatment.
There are two important things to remember about the "retention phase":
- "Retention" is needed for a lifetime!
- Success is completely up to you!
How Long Are Retainers Worn?
The supervised retention phase lasts for 12 months. This 12-month phase, along with your initial retainers, is included in your original contract. Dr. Wilhite recommends that her patients continue to wear their retainers on a nightly basis, indefinitely, to prevent any unwanted tooth movement or relapse.
Will My Teeth Move Back After Orthodontic Treatment?
Retention is the only way to prevent unwanted tooth movement. Teeth have a tendency to want to return to their original position, especially if excessive forces are applied to the teeth by clenching, grinding, or crowding by wisdom teeth. If retainers are not worn ideally, tooth movement is likely.
Taking Care of Your Retainers
To keep retainers clean brush them with your toothbrush and toothpaste daily. You may also soak retainers periodically in retainer cleanser to keep them fresh. Always keep retainers in a retainer case when they are not being worn. This will prevent loss or damage of retainers.
Have your retainers checked every year! Retainers need to be adjusted and/or replaced periodically. Having them checked every year will help reduce the risk of shifting or relapse due to poor fit.
What if My Retainer Is Lost or Broken?
If you lose or damage your retainer, call our office immediately for an appointment. There will be a fee for a replacement or repair. Although there will be a charge, it is a relatively inexpensive way to protect the investment you have made in your orthodontic care.