Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, you will receive retainers to stabilize the orthodontic correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
A retainer is a custom-made appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after braces have been removed. Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (F). The retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush will remove the plaque.
There are two basic types of retainers: removable and fixed. Dr. Terrana will help you choose the best type for you based on what you needed braces for and any conditions you might have. You may be given only one type, or you may receive a combination of removable and fixed retainers.
A retainer keeps your teeth from moving after they’ve been straightened with braces. Your teeth will always naturally try to shift back to their original position, which is called relapse. When used as instructed, a retainer helps to prevent this from happening.