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The purpose of retainers is to hold teeth in their corrected position. Retainers are placed once braces are removed to stabilize the teeth as the bone builds up around them. Since retainers are removable, their use and care are entirely dependent on you. The team at Nelson Orthodontics will recommend a retainer type (clear or “Hawley”) based on your bite.
Wear your retainers full-time (24 hours per day). You may remove your retainers while eating and brushing but you must replace them as soon as you are finished. When the retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in the case you will be given. The most common way to lose a retainer is by putting it in a napkin at school or a restaurant. To avoid this, always place the retainer in a plastic case when it’s out of the mouth. After the braces are removed, most patients will wear the retainers full-time for three months and then at night as directed. You will be given specific instructions regarding how often the retainers need to be worn.
What to expect:
Initially, your retainers may feel bulky and affect your speech somewhat. In a few days, once the tongue adapts, your speech will return to normal. The day after you receive your retainers, your teeth may feel a bit sore, this will resolve quickly with continuous wear.
Your retainers should be cleaned after each meal and before going to bed. Keep retainers clean by using your toothbrush and toothpaste. Never use hot water on the retainers as this may distort the shape of the retainer.
1. If you do not wear your retainers as instructed, your teeth WILL MOVE. If you miss a night, wear your retainer full time. Make sure your retainer is completely in, this may cause your teeth to be sore, but they should realign. If they don’t, or if your retainer is lost or broken, please call us immediately.
2. ALWAYS bring your retainers to your appointments with our Seattle orthodontist, Dr. Nelson so that we can check the fit and make any necessary adjustments.
Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far!
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