You just love your brand-new smile — now maintain it with orthodontic retainers. It’s been shown that teeth and gums have a memory and try to drift back into their old, unsightly positions. By wearing retainers, you can preserve the work of your The Woodlands, TX orthodontist, Dr. Brad Leiker, and enjoy your beautiful smile for years to come.
What is a retainer?
Retainers hold your teeth in their corrected position after you have completed orthodontic treatment.
What kinds of retainers are there?
At our The Woodlands, TX & Conroe, TX orthodontic offices we have two types of orthodontic retainers for our patients.
- Fixed – A fixed retainer is a wire that is typically secured along the back of the teeth to hold your teeth in place at all times.
- Removable – A removable retainer is made of plastic and metal and can be taken out for eating and for brushing and flossing your teeth. Initially, you’ll wear your retainer the majority of the time, and as your teeth settle, you’ll likely only need to wear your retainer at night and eventually, even less time.
How do I care for my retainer?
- Wear your removable retainers in the evening and during sleep (14-16 hours)
- ALWAYS put retainers in their case when not wearing them! Pets love to chew on them!
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Soak your retainer in Retainer Brite or other orthodontic appliance cleaners 2 or 3 times per week. Brushing and soaking the retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors.
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing aloud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately because the teeth can begin to shift quickly.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments. We need to evaluate how they fit and possibly adjust them to maintain teeth alignment.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
To care for a removable retainer, you should clean it every time you take it out to brush and floss your teeth. Simply use your toothbrush and toothpaste. Denture solution or an orthodontic solution is ideal for disinfecting your retainers at least twice a week. Be sure to always rinse your retainer before returning it to your mouth, and only use warm water, never hot, while cleaning your retainer.
There’s no need to worry about orthodontic retainers until you’ve begun your treatment with braces. If you’re ready to get your teeth moving in the right direction, call our The Woodlands, TX orthodontist today at 281-298-9434 or use our convenient online form to schedule your first exam. Of course, feel free to contact Dr. Brad Leiker if you have any questions about your retainer.