Retainer and Retainer Instructions
Retainers are used to hold teeth in place. Teeth can continue to move all your life and retainers can prevent them from becoming crooked again. Traditional retainers are acrylic with a thin wire around the front of the teeth. Clear retainers are popular, but there are a few special considerations. They can wear out if you grind your teeth and they are definitely easier to lose.
1 Always wear the retainer, even during meal-time and sleep, unless you have been specifically instructed otherwise. If in doubt, please ask!
2 Clean your retainer immediately after each meal, before bed and first thing in the morning
· Take the retainer out and carefully brush the inside, outside and biting surfaces of all your teeth. If you have recently had braces removed you may have spaces between your back teeth and food may get stuck in there. To best remove the food, tie a knot in your floss and pull the knot between your teeth dragging the food out to the side.
· Hold the retainer in the palm of your hand and carefully brush the inside and outside surfaces. A retainer brush and dish soap or detergent soap does a better job than a toothbrush and toothpaste
· Rinse the retainer thoroughly with cool water (hot water will distort the retainer)
3 Replace the retainer in your mouth as soon as you have cleaned it. (If you have been instructed to wear a rubber band with your retainer, you may need a fresh one at this time.)
4 Avoid flipping or playing with the retainer with your tongue. (This annoys others and eventually will distort or break your the wires on the retainer, which may incur costs to repair)
5 The safest place for your retainer is in your mouth. If you take it out:
DON’T wrap it in a paper napkin or tissue. (It may get thrown out)
DON’T put it in your pocket. (You may break it or it may end up in the laundry where heat will distort it)
DON’T leave it on your dresser or in the washroom. (Remember, youngsters can be curious and dogs have a particular fascination for retainers as well)
DON’T put your retainer in hot water if it is dropped in an unsanitary place. (Very hot water will warp it.) Wash it with soap and cool water
DON’T leave your retainer in any cleansers such as Polident for longer than 10 minutes at a time. It will corrode the metal joints
DO put the retainer in a plastic case with a good lid if you must take it out of your mouth. Keep it out of the heat so it won’t warp. Your name, address and phone number should be taped inside the case. We supply the case and sticker for you.
DO look after your retainer; a replacement costs may cost $250.00.
6 If your retainer is lost or broken or doesn’t fit right, please return to see us as soon as possible. Bring your retainer (or any pieces) with you if you have it
Things you may notice
• A plastic taste is sometimes noticeable with a new retainer, but the taste disappears in a day
• With the retainer in place, your speech might be affected. Reading aloud to yourself can help you become more quickly accustomed to it
• If your retainer is designed to move a tooth or teeth, those teeth may be tender for a few days when you chew
· Once you only need to wear your retainers at night, try and be very consistent. If you notice that the retainer does not fit the same or seems tight - wear it all the time and then come back and have it checked as soon as you can.
· Check your retainer for wear. If it showing signs of wear, you should check back with us.
For people who grind their teeth at night, often a night guard is an option and that may be worn in place of a retainer.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office