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orthodontic retainerThe process of correcting your teeth’s alignment does not end when the braces come off. A retainer will be fitted to your teeth for the purpose of reinforcing the newly created position. This is to make sure that things continue to stay in place long after the wires are removed.

What to Expect

During the first few months after your braces come off, it’s highly recommended that you wear your retainers 24/7. The only time they should be removed is before you drink, eat, or brush. You can choose to have a plastic retainer made if you want to conceal its appearance.

Depending on your orthodontist’s observations of how your teeth are responding to the fact that the braces are out, you will eventually be required to wear a retainer only when you sleep for at least a year. You can then start wearing them only three to four times a week. Dentists do not recommend that you get rid of the retainers completely in order to make sure all the hard work from the braces will be worth it.

Maintenance of Braces

While there are removable and fixed retainers, it is important to point out that they will be a permanent part of your life. The only difference is that you may be allowed to wear them less frequently. If you use a fixed retainer, doctors will require you to keep it in for a few years (or decades). Again, it all depends on your orthodontist’s assessment. If appearance is a concern, you can opt for a lingual retainer, which is placed behind your teeth and will not be immediately visible.

teeth retainerOral hygiene is extremely important, particularly if you are wearing a retainer. A dirty retainer, whether it is fixed/permanent or removable, can cause a number of problems ranging from mouth and gum infections to bad breath. Maintaining good oral health is actually quite simple, but it has to become part of your daily routine.

Regardless of the type of retainer, you should follow your orthodontist’s instructions for proper care and cleaning.

Fixed/permanent retainers

1.      Use Soft Bristle Brushes

It is best to clean this type of retainer with a soft-bristle toothbrush, and stroke up and down as you normally would. A Proxabrush, which is shaped to a point, can also help to gently remove any persistent food particles from in and around the retainer.

2.      Use Floss Threaders

Floss threaders are also a good way to keep your mouth fresh and bacteria-free. Essentially a stiff nylon thread with a loop at the end, the threader feeds regular dental floss between your teeth and around the wires.

Removable retainers

3.      Remove as Necessary

Removable retainers are normally worn full-time initially and eventually only used at night, after a period of time specified by an orthodontist. They should always be cleaned after eating, as food particles can get wedged in the hardware and be difficult to remove.

Once you take the retainer off your mouth, store it properly in its case so that it stays clean and doesn’t get broken or lost.

Removable retainers should be taken out of your mouth and brushed clean every day. They can also be soaked in a cleaning fluid, such as mouthwash or dissolved denture-cleaning tablets.

We look forward to meeting you on your first visit to our office. Our friendly orthodontist at Portland Braces will be happy to discuss your orthodontic treatment and help you understand the importance of wearing and cleaning your retainer.

dental retainerOnce orthodontic treatment has been completed, the use of a dental retainer is a very crucial part of the routine maintenance of your teeth and will go a long way toward keeping the same great bite and smile that the braces have developed over the years. Retainers are often manufactured by the dentist who performed the installation of your braces and oversaw your treatment. Most patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off but it is one of the most important post-braces care habits to keep your teeth in perfect alignment.

What is a retainer?

A retainer keeps teeth from reverting back to the places in which they started before braces were applied. There are various types of retainers, some removable and some permanent. Some retainers are made of metal and plastic and others are all made of metal or all plastic. Some can even be permanently fixed to the back of your teeth.

How long do you wear retainers?

If you’ve just gotten your retainers, you might be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the gum tissues and bones around your mouth to reorganize and set into place after orthodontic treatment with braces. The period of time you’ll need to wear retainer will depend on your unique situation, but usually, retainers are worn as long as the period you wore your braces. Consult your dentist and ask him for a treatment plan that is suitable for you.

Consider a Professional Whitening

Because brushing and flossing with braces is so difficult, stains are usually unavoidable. Most people get excited for their perfect, straight teeth for the first time after removing their braces, only to be disappointed by yellow or stained teeth. If you’re getting your braces removed soon, talk to your dentist about your teeth whitening options. In-office whitening is the quickest way to get rid of stains. It is the perfect way to treat your teeth after your braces come off.

clear alignersWith the development of new technologies, orthodontic treatments have greatly improved over the years as new products enable people to achieve the smile of their dreams in shorter amounts of time.

There are several orthodontic treatment options available to you but how do you know which option is right for you?  Clear Aligners can be a great alternative to traditional braces and here is what you need to know when deciding between the two.

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Clear aligners are a series of plastic appliances that custom-fit to your teeth. They slide comfortably over the surfaces of your teeth and are worn for at least 20 hours a day. The aligners are removed to eat, brush, and floss. The length of treatment varies on a case by case basis and adults can frequently omplete treatment within one year.

How do they compare to traditional braces?

In terms of cost, clear aligners can be comparable to traditional braces depending on the problem. . They are not suitable for all patients and this can be best determined by the orthodontist.

Aligners are approved for use in both adults and teenagers with permanent teeth. Young children are typically not good candidates for this form of treatment

An orthodontist can determine if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. Read more about types of braces. If you have questions about aligners or traditional braces you should schedule a consult with an experienced orthodontist.

orthodontic retainer As important as the braces are, the orthodontic retainer can prevent teeth from moving and shifting after treatment is complete.  Retainers vary in type and can be used for a variety of orthodontic purposes but the most common use is to prevent teeth from shifting after braces.

What kinds of retainers should you use?

There are several types of retainers and an orthodontist can help you choose the most suitable retainer for you. The most common type of retainer is known as a Hawley retainer. It has an acrylic plate that is molded to fit the patients roof of their mouth and has a metal wire that wraps around the front teeth. Another type of retainer is known as a fixed bonded retainer, which is not removable and adheres to the inside of the lower front teeth. Patients sometimes prefer to wear removable clear retainers as they are generally non-visible.

How long should I wear my retainer?

The amount of time someone needs to wear a retainer varies from patient to patient. Typically, teeth tend to move towards their original pre-braces position with the greatest movement in the first few months following braces removal and then again later in life.  Therefore, you should be very diligent about wearing your orthodontic retainers long term in order to protect your investment of effort, time, and cost. More about braces and retainers.