Congratulations! You have now completed the hardest phase of treatment, the active phase, and have begun the last and easiest phase, retention. Not to be taken lightly, this phase is equally as important as the previous phase(s) of treatment and is essential to maintain the results we have achieved.
- Removable retainers are to be worn full time for 12 months and at nights only for another 12 months. I would encourage you to keep your retainer after and try it in every 3-5 nights. If it fits in easily, your teeth have not shifted, if it is tight, wear it again for a few nights. It is normal for teeth to move throughout one's life time whether you have or haven't had orthodontic treatment; this will help maintain the results.
- Your speech may initially be affected. This is transient and you will learn very quickly how to talk with your retainer(s). Reading out loud will help speed up the process.
- You may initially find that you are salivating a lot. Again as your body gets used to the retainer(s), the salivary flow rate will return to normal.
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Have your teeth cleaned and examined regularly during retainer wear.
- The retainer(s) need to be comfortable. If a sore spot develops, please call the office so we can adjust the retainer.
- DO NOT bite your retainer into place. Gently seat it using your thumbs or fingers to push it into place.
- Remember to brush your retainer(s) each day when you brush your teeth. In addition, your retainer (s) should be soaked twice a week in a commercial denture cleaning product of your choice, or my favorite, one tsp of dishwashing crystals in a glass of hot water for 30 minutes. Rinse it well after.
- When you remove your retainer(s) for eating, remember to put them in the case provided and someplace safe. I do not recommend putting them in your lunch bag or wrapping them in a napkin, as this is the most common way retainers are lost.
- Dogs love retainers and will chew them; this is the second most common way retainers are damaged/destroyed.
- It is important to clean your clear retainer daily to remove bacteria, which can cause bad breath, cause tooth decay and discolor the retainer. Run your retainer under warm tap water and using a soft tooth brush and either a liquid anti-bacterial soap or dish soap, gently brush the retainer. Rinse well. Do not use toothpaste; it scratches, hot water; it can distort the appliance or bleach as it is too harsh and can deteriorate the plastic.
Thank you and if there are any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.
Download PDF: Clear (Essix) Orthodontic Retainer Instruction Sheet