The day has finally arrived – your braces are coming off! You’ve missed that feeling of smooth teeth and can’t wait to dig into a bucket of popcorn as soon as you get home. And by all means go right ahead – just don’t leave your orthodontist’s practice without a little appliance known as a retainer. A retainer is designed to preserve your beautiful smile. Here’s some helpful information about your retainer and why it is so important post treatment.
What is a retainer?
Also known as a trutain, a retainer is a clear, plastic tray that helps hold teeth in place once you or your child have completed orthodontic treatment. It is important to wear your retainer long after treatment as your teeth will continue to move over time, meaning if you don’t wear it you may need orthodontic treatment again. Wearing your trutain will help you retain that beautiful, healthy new smile that you have spent time and money on achieving.
Fitting and removing your retainer
When fitting your retainer for the first time, be sure to use a mirror to ensure it is aligned correctly. Once it is in the correct position, simply use your fingers to push against the plastic and the trutain will click into place. A perfect fit should feel like a glove and there should be no excess plastic sitting below each tooth. When removing your top retainer, we recommend using your index fingers to pull downwards from the back of your mouth. If you are removing your bottom retainer, we recommend pulling or pushing up from the back also. Pulling or pushing the retainer from the front of your bite may cause damage your teeth or your retainer.
When to wear your retainer
Most patients assume that your retainer should be worn only at night, however, we recommend wearing it initially for 23 hours per day for the first two weeks following treatment. It may be removed for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. After this two week period it can be worn each night unless otherwise instructed by your orthodontist.
How to keep it clean
We recommend patients use a soft brush and warm running water each morning. Patients may choose to use products such as Sterident, Retainer Brite or good old fashion white vinegar should their retainer develop an odour over time.
If you have any concerns regarding your retainer, or if you misplace or damage it, we recommend contacting your orthodontist for further advice. For more information on the importance of retainers, please visit our website at www.theorthopractice.com.au or call our friendly team on 9344 7081.