Following Retainer Instructions Ensures Successful Treatment

Dr. Knight and the team would like to congratulate you on successfully completing your orthodontic treatment! Once your braces come off, it is imperative that you wear your retainer to preserve all of your hard-earned progress. At Knight Orthodontics in Louisville, KY, and Radcliff, KY, we are here to help you maintain that beautiful smile, and we want to make certain you have all the resources you need.

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is typically worn immediately following treatment. Retainers come in various styles and are used to keep your teeth from moving back into their old positions. While some retainers are permanently bonded into place, others are removable. The most common type of retainer is the Hawley appliance. It consists of wires and clasps that are attached to a plastic portion that fits snugly into the roof of your mouth. An Essix retainer is a clear plastic tray that fully seats over your teeth. All types of retainers are effective. Dr. Knight will determine which type of retainer is the best choice for you.

How to Properly Care for Your Retainer

Taking proper care of your retainer helps ensure you are maintaining your dental and overall health. Here are a few tips and pointers to help you keep that new smile looking good:

  • Wear your retainers full time: Until you have received specific further instructions from Dr. Knight or a team member, wear your retainers full time, with the exception of eating, brushing, and flossing. Please do not wear them while playing contact sports.
  • Bring your retainers to your follow-up visits: Your orthodontic appointments will be less frequent now that your treatment is complete. However, we will still see you occasionally to make sure your retainer is fitting properly. Please remember to bring it to your checkups with you.
  • Keep your retainer case handy: By keeping your retainer case with you at all times, you can keep it properly protected. Replacement retainers can be expensive.
  • Keep them clean: Brush your retainers thoroughly once a day with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste to remove tartar and plaque. Warm water should be used. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp your retainers.
  • Avoid leaving them in the heat: Retainers are delicate appliances and can break or warp easily. Avoid leaving them in hot cars, washing machines, dryers, pockets, and napkins.
  • Practice speaking while wearing your retainers: There can be a slight learning curve when it comes to talking while wearing retainers. Time is necessary for your speech patterns to properly adjust. We recommend reading, speaking, or even singing out loud to get used to your retainers quickly.
  • Call us with any problems: If your retainer becomes warped or broken, it is imperative that you contact us immediately. Even if you notice a slight change in the way it is fitting, call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. If you lose your retainer, call us right away so we can fabricate a new one. When you are unable to wear your retainer, your teeth can move very quickly. By contacting us with any issues, you can preserve your beautiful new smile!

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