After months and months of using braces or Invisalign to perfect your smile, do you really want it all to go to waste? Neither do we. Once your Topeka or Lawrence orthodontist removes your braces or Invisalign, you begin a process called retention. Retention is the post-braces maintenance stage of orthodontic treatment. Based on your individualized orthodontic plan, our orthodontists will custom-make a retainer for you to wear during this stage.

Post-Braces Or Invisalign

Consistently wearing your retainer is essential in order to prevent your teeth from returning to their original positions in your mouth. After braces or Invisalign correct your smile, your teeth do not stop moving. This is because your teeth are not set in the jawbone; instead, they are held in place by a network of fibers called periodontal ligaments. After teeth move, it takes several months for the periodontal ligament to adjust to the new position. So in order to maintain the progress, time, and money spent on braces or Invisalign, it is critical that you wear your retainer in the manner described by your Lawrence orthodontist.

Adapting To Retainers

Just like when you first had your braces or Invisalign fitted, there will be a period of adjustment. You may experience some minor and temporary symptoms as your body adjusts to having a foreign object in your mouth. Among these symptoms, most commonly reported are difficulty talking normally (some sort of lisp) and producing more saliva than normal. After a short period of consistent use, you will hardly notice you are wearing a retainer at all.

Frequency Of Retainer Use

Your Lawrence orthodontists will initially instruct you to wear your retainer all day, 24/7.  After a period of several months to a year of continual use, your orthodontist may approve the transition to only wearing the retainer at night. Over time, and with your orthodontist’s approval, you will gradually shift towards wearing it only a few nights per week. You can gather more information regarding your specific retention plan by meeting with your Lawrence orthodontist for an evaluation.

Maintaining Your Retainer

You can keep your retainer fresh and germ-free through proper cleaning. The following suggestions will help you maintain and protect your retainer throughout your retention process.

  • Clean your removable retainer with a soft toothbrush and dishwashing liquid/mild liquid soap
  • Use denture cleaners or special retainer cleaners.
  • Clean fixed retainers by brushing and flossing; a floss threader or interproximal brush can also be a helpful cleaning tool when needed.
  • Do not expose your retainer to excess heat (dishwashers, very hot water, or leaving it on a heater) High temperatures can cause the retainer to warp and make it unusable.
  • Always carry and use a retainer case. Do not wrap your retainer in napkins or tissues; many retainers are accidentally discarded when improperly stored.

Visit Your Orthodontist In Lawrence or Topeka

At Hamilton, Wilson and Hendrickson Orthodontics, we understand the hard work you invested in your smile. Let us help you maintain it. Your adherence to retention procedures and your orthodontist’s instructions will determine the permanence of your braces or Invisalign results. Together, we can make your smile last! To learn more about post-brace or Invisalign treatment or other orthodontic treatment options, contact your Lawrence or Topeka orthodontic staff or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!

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