Once your treatment is complete it's time for retention. At Alba Orthodontics, we believe retention is for life. In fact, it's so important we often include a "permanent" bonded retainer on the inside of your lower front teeth. And for your upper teeth, we provide retainers that you'll wear all the time for a couple of months after treatment and then only at night - for as long as you want to keep your teeth looking like they do the day you finish treatment. Dr. Alba will decide what type of retainers are best suited to keeping your teeth in line after treatment; whether they're clear or with a wire, it's important to follow Dr. Alba's instructions so that your teeth don't move back to the place they were before you started orthodontic treatment. Below are some other helpful guidelines for your retainers:
- Take your retainers out when eating, and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Please do not use hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can also be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them, even pets who normally do not chew on other things! We've heard too many stories of dogs finding and destroying retainers that were left on a table or in a purse that they could reach!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak with your retainers in your mouth. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us during the next business day.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement will incur an additional fee but with proper care they will last for years!
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.