When your braces are removed, you enter a new phase of treatment called the Retention Phase. After your braces are removed (Deband Day), we will see you four more times in the following 16 months to evaluate the position of your teeth and make any necessary adjustments to your retainer(s).
TYPICAL RETAINER CHECK SCHEDULE
- Visit #1 Four-week retainer check
- Visit #2 Four-month retainer check
- Visit #3 Ten-month retainer check
- Visit #4 16-month retainer check
Your treatment will be completed after the 16-month retainer check appointment. Completed orthodontic treatment does not guarantee perfectly straight teeth for the rest of your life. Minor irregularities, particularly in the lower front teeth, may occur. Teeth have a memory and often try to move back to their original positions. Retainers are required to keep teeth in their new positions. Regular retainer wear for a lifetime is necessary as your body is continually growing and maturing.
Caring for Your Retainers
ESSIX RETAINER CARE
- To remove from teeth, carefully pull retainer down from back teeth.
- Do not eat or drink anything while wearing (except water) as sugar and food can become trapped and stain teeth.
- Do not chew on your retainer! You sometimes see athletes chewing on their mouth guards… your retainers are NOT made to be chewed and WILL BE DAMAGED as a result.
- Always store your retainer in its protective case when it is not being worn. Most retainers are lost when removed outside the home, especially during mealtimes. Please DO NOT WRAP THEM IN A NAPKIN or place them on lunch trays as they are easily (and often) thrown away.
- Certain types of dental work may require you to have a new upper Essix retainer made.
- HOW TO CLEAN RETAINERS Daily: Rinse retainer with warm (NOT hot!) water. Weekly: Use liquid soap (we recommend Dawn) and/or a denture or retainer cleaner like (Retainer Brite). Do NOT use toothpaste. Do NOT put retainers in the dishwasher.
- SIGNS YOUR ESSIX RETAINER NEEDS TO BE REPLACED: The retainer fits loosely and slips off teeth easily. There are cracks or holes in the retainer. It looks cloudy or white (indicates calcium build-up).
- After cleaning your retainer in the morning, immediately return it to its protective case. Keeping this at your bedside makes access at bedtime that much easier!
- Never leave your retainers where a pet can reach them. “My dog chewed my retainer!” is one of the most common reasons for retainer replacement.
- Heat can distort your retainer. Avoid hot water, hot cars, and dryers.
- Take your retainer to your orthodontic appointments for cleaning and fit checks
LOWER BONDED MEMOTAIN RETAINER CARE
- Keep your Memotain bonded retainer clean by brushing and flossing your lower teeth as well as the wire. Flossing above and below by using a threader is necessary. Maintain your regular 3- to 6-month dental cleanings.
- Be mindful that the wire must remain affixed to each tooth! If the wire breaks or detaches from any tooth, call us immediately. Do not attempt to fix it yourself. Very important: you should wear your clear, back-up lower Essix retainer you received on your Deband Day until your lower bonded retainer is fixed to prevent shifting of your teeth.