When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the team here at Manzella Orthodontics knows that it feels amazing to finally get your braces off or to finish your treatment with Invisalign, or any other primary care.
And hey, it’s a big deal! You’ve likely spent the better part of a few years paying careful attention to your treatment, and you’ve successfully finished! Woo-Hoo!
Now that your braces are gone, it doesn’t mean you’re done taking care of your pearly whites. We’re talking about your retainer, folks! But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Dr. Manzella and the team at Manzella Orthodontics want to make sure you’re set up for success. That’s why we put together this little guide on the importance of wearing your retainer. We’ll go over why it’s crucial to clean and care for your retainer as well, so let’s dive in!
Why Wear a Retainer?
Orthodontic specialists agree – retainers are the single biggest factor in whether or not your post-treatment smile stays straight!
Here at Manzella Orthodontics, we know you may want to put any and all appliances behind you after getting your braces off. But be careful! The fact is, improper retainer use is the most common reason for orthodontic relapse. But never fear! Dr. Manzella will prescribe the right post-treatment retainer for you and give you detailed instructions on how to ensure your smile stays looking great for a lifetime!
Background Info On Your Retainer.
Since your retainer will be in your mouth most of the day for at least two months after your braces come off (hint, hint!), there is plenty of time for harmful bacteria and the leftover food particles that can lead to the plaque to accumulate. Dr. Manzella can give you specific directions, but one thing’s for sure – you’ll want to clean your retainer daily. A good time for this is at the same time you brush your teeth.
Cleaning Your Retainer.
Depending on your specific retainer type, your cleaning procedure may vary slightly. The three types of retainers are as follows:
These may be what comes to mind when you think of retainers.
Kept in place by a wire that wraps around the teeth, combined with an acrylic arch that rests against the roof of the mouth, the Hawley Retainer is removable. This makes cleaning a more straightforward prospect.
Be sure to clean your Hawley Retainer daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to remove plaque and bacteria. Your removable retainer should always stay in its case when not in use. Go ahead and remove your retainer before eating and drinking. This simplifies clean-up and ensures your retainer stays hygienic and fresh!
A newer option, and one that grows increasingly popular with dentists and orthodontists each year, the Essix Retainer is similar to clear aligners like Invisalign. Like Invisalign, they mold to the shape of your teeth. Also, like Invisalign, they’re a breeze to clean! Just pop them out before your morning and nightly brush sessions, being sure to dry them immediately, so saliva doesn’t have a chance to accrue. Then, you can brush your retainer right alongside your teeth!
You can mix mild dish soap with water or just cold water will do.
Be sure and keep good track of your Essix. Just like a Hawley retainer, since you can remove it, you can lose it! It’s vital to always store your retainer in its case when not in use.
Here are a few rapid-fire tips to remember:
- If using a fixed retainer, be sure to brush and floss diligently in the space surrounding the wire, as the little nooks and crannies make it a favorite spot for plaque and debris!
- Your removable retainer should always stay in its case when not in use.
- Go ahead and remove your retainer before eating and drinking. This simplifies clean-up and ensures your retainer stays hygienic and fresh!
- Cleaning your removable retainer is a cinch! Lightly brush and rinse with water. You can clean your retainer at the same time as you brush your teeth to keep things simple.
- Be sure and avoid leaving your retainer in extreme heat, as this can warp the acrylic of a Hawley or the plastic of an Essix retainer. You should be removing your retainer to eat and drink anyway, but that goes double for hot food and drink
- Bring your retainer in with you when you come and see us so Dr. Manzella can ensure that it’s in good order and that your post-active treatment is on track!
Call Today to Schedule Your Appointment!
Your Manzella Orthodontics team is proud to be West Seneca’s one-stop smile shop! We’re ready with answers to any and all questions you may have, and we love seeing our patients.
Not only that, but we’re proud to offer our patients a warranty program for your retainers! Life happens, and occasionally we fail to guard our appliances from le puppy, and they end up trashed. With Manzella’s retainer warranty program, that’s no problem! Just pay a small up-front fee, and no matter what happens (this includes alien abduction, cheetah attack, whatever), we’ve got you covered! Your new retainer will be provided at no extra cost!
Don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule that follow-up appointment, or, if you’re a new patient, your first free consultation! We can’t wait to see you!