After active orthodontic treatment has completed, there is a tendency for teeth to return, or relapse, back to their pre-treatment positions. Over 50% of patients have some reversion to pre-treatment positions within 10 years following treatment.
To minimize the risk of relapse, you are required to wear a retainer which holds the teeth and jaw bone in their new position. Thus, wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.
"Early age ( preventive ) treatment helps to prevent relapse!"
- Make sure you come back for a retainer check-up visits.
- Take your retainers out when eating, and always put them back in the case!(Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and a dish soap. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Efferdent®, Retainer Brite, or other orthodontic appliancecleaners can be used but do not replace brushing.
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, orsinging out loud to get used to it faster.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, thewashing machine, and napkins.
- Do not flip the retainer with your tongue. This will loosen or damage yourretainer.
- Not wearing your retainer (even for a few days) could cause your teeth toshift. If your retainer no longer fits or needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to each appointment.
- Retainers are breakable, but with proper care they will last for years. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.