1. Wearing your upper/lower retainer is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT/ IMPERATIVE IN ORDER TO AVOID DENTAL RELAPSE (TOOTH SHIFTING)
2. Follow your retainer check/adjustment appointments.
3. Wear your upper/lower retainer day/night (including to bed) for 2 months. This helps hold teeth in place during a vulnerable period directly after braces are removed. After 2 months of meticulous day/night wear (including to bed), retainers can be worn just to bed for the next 2 years. This helps assure that the anatomy around each tooth has reattached and that bone has re-solidified properly. That being said; since teeth have elastic ligaments around them so that we do not fracture our teeth during the strong forces of chewing (such as a bridge or building has movement engineered into it), teeth are not in concrete (and thus do have slight play). Therefore, even after the first 2-2 ½ yrs. of retainer wear, it is safer to move to an every other day/every third day schedule moving to a couple of times out of the month (as you get older). If wearing your retainer more often will remind you to wear it, please do. With the above said, retainer wear “for life” is the best way to assure the least amount of movement of your teeth over a long period of time.
4. Do not wear your retainers during eating or playing any sports.
5. Use the retainer case provided to place your retainers in. This will keep them safe and allow you to keep track of their location.
6. Cleaning your retainers (NOT USING HOT WATER):
A) For clear full coverage Essix retainers, use a cotton swab (Q-Tip) with hand wash liquid & rinse under cold or warm water thoroughly. Quickly dip retainer in or pour mouth rinse over to help disinfect ( rinsing it again with water). There are also over the counter cleaning tablets such as “Retainer Brite” or “Efferdent” that can be purchased & used with clear full coverage retainers. DO NOT BRUSH them for it will scratch the retainer (due to the material it is made of) and lead to plaque accumulation/ staining.
B) For acrylic/wire Hawley retainers; brush the entire retainer, rinse it with cold or warm water, dip retainer in or pour mouth rinse over it (again, to help disinfect), and rinse itagain with water. Over the counter cleaning tablets such as “Efferdent” can be purchased and used for acrylic Hawley retainers.
7. Retainers take a couple of days to a week of continual wear to get used to talking with. The more retainers are in, the faster the mouth/tongue can get used to them.
8. Any retainer tightness/soreness will go away as the week goes on (as the teeth adjust to them). Such as your feet adjust to a pair of new shoes. If you need a Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil in the beginning, please take.
9. Please take care of your retainer because it is an expensive orthodontic appliance and there is a charge to replace any lost or broken retainers.
Thank you for your time, attention, and cooperation! Dr. Peter J. Magoulas