What You Should Know About Retaining Your Beautiful Smile
Retainers are customized oral devices that can help realign your teeth or keep them in place after your braces are removed. Retainers should be worn for life. Using a retainer properly will maintain your beautiful smile. Without wearing a retainer, your teeth may start to shift back into their original positions.
A digital scan or impression is taken of your new smile once your braces are removed. The retainer is then custom-made for your smile and adjusted periodically by Dr. Monacell to keep your teeth in the desired position. Dr. Monacell urges his patients to wear their retainers as instructed and also to care for them correctly.
Different Retainer Types
There are several different types of retainers, including removable ones. Dr. Monacell may have you wear a clear plastic retainer that is nearly invisible. It may cover all of your upper or lower teeth or just some of them. Or, you may be asked to wear the Hawley retainer that features a plastic body with metal wires and clasps.
Dr. Monacell will assess every patient individually to determine how long they need to wear their retainers. Some patients wear a retainer only at night, while others need to wear it all day.
Caring for Your Retainer
Wear your retainer at all times, until Dr. Monacell instructs otherwise. Always take your retainers out when eating and store them safely in their case. Remove your retainers before swimming and keep them away from excess heat. Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and napkins.
Cleaning Your Retainer
Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
Protecting Your Retainer
When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should always be in its case. Pets love to chew on them. Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
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Visit Us to Adjust Retainers
Always bring your retainer to your appointments. If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or if you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself. Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care, your retainer will last for years.