When we remove your braces or aligners and unveil your beautiful new smile, the orthodontic journey isn’t over. In fact, it’s entering the most important phase - the retention phase. If you want to keep the results you worked so hard for, it’s important to wear a retainer.
Why are retainers important?
At Ipswich Orthodontics, every custom treatment comes with 3 years of follow-up care and custom retainers. This helps make sure your teeth stay in proper alignment. If you don’t wear your retainers as instructed, your teeth will want to slide back into their pre-treatment positions.
Types of retainers
We offer two types of retainers at Ipswich Orthodontics: bonded retainers and removable retainers.
Bonded retainers are small metal wires that are permanently attached to the back side of your teeth. This makes them convenient, because you don’t need to remember to wear them, but it also means you need to take special care to clean around them to prevent plaque buildup.
Removable retainers come in two different styles. Plate retainers and invisible retainers. Plate retainers called “Hawley retainers” are custom plastic plates with wires that run around the front of your teeth to hold them in place. These will be visible when you smile.
Invisible retainers look a bit like Invisalign® clear aligners, and are thin, clear, and extremely discreet.
How to care for your retainers
It’s important to look after your retainers properly to ensure you keep your smile results for a lifetime! Here are our top tips for caring for your retainer.
If you have been given Hawley retainers, they must be worn ALL the time for the first six months. Once we tell you it’s okay, you can switch to nighttime-only wear.
If you have been given invisible retainers, you must wear them ALL the time for the first ten days. After that, you must wear them EVERY afternoon and to bed at night.
If you have a bonded retainer, please refrain from eating hard foods like ice and from biting into apples.
If your retainers are loose, broken, or lost, please contact us immediately.
Unless directed otherwise, the ONLY times you can take your retainers out are when you are brushing your teeth, playing contact sport, or swimming. For invisible retainers, you will take them out to eat and brush your teeth before putting them back in.
Please bring your retainers with you to each follow-up visit so we can see how they are fitting.
You can clean your retainers by washing them under cold water and brushing them with your toothbrush. Heat or hot water can distort them and cause them to fit improperly.
The safest place for your retainer is in your mouth or in the container we gave you. Try to keep them away from animals, as dogs and cats love to chew on retainers. Also avoid putting your retainers in napkins or tissues, as they can easily end up in the trash!
Please look after your retainers. If they are lost or broken, lab fees will apply.
Have any questions about retention?
Contact our team today at 07 3812 0865. If you haven’t started treatment yet, you can do so by booking your initial consultation at Ipswich Orthodontics.