What Is the Process for Getting a Retainer?
Generally speaking, patients who need retainers will be finishing up a course of treatment with traditional braces or InvisalignⓇ clear aligners. Sometimes, we see patients who previously had a retainer from another orthodontist, and they need the retainer adjusted or replaced. We will also sometimes recommend retainers for patients who do not need to go through a full treatment with braces. As already mentioned, retainers are sometimes used for other mouth-related issues such as speech impediments and snoring.
In all cases, our friendly orthodontist will begin by examining your mouth. Images such as dental x-rays or other 3D imaging might be used to determine teeth placement. We will then work with you to come up with the appropriate treatment plan using a retainer.
How Long Should a Retainer Be Worn?
How long and when a retainer should be worn depends on the specific circumstance of each patient. Permanent retainers are generally meant to be worn indefinitely or permanently. They cannot be removed by the patient and can last a long time with proper maintenance. Thus, they are worn 24/7.
Removable retainers may be worn 24/7 for a period of four to six months (or longer) after a treatment with traditional braces or InvisalignⓇ clear aligners. In many cases, retainers are worn indefinitely, but patients only need to wear them at night while sleeping. We will of course explain to you how often you should wear your removable retainer.
What Is the Proper Way to Clean a Retainer?
Our staff will teach you exactly how to clean the specific type of retainer you have been fitted with. In general, clean your retainer gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure saliva is rinsed off of retainers that are removed. Removable retainers can be soaked in mouthwash to kill bacteria. For some retainers, it is recommended to use denture cleaner for cleaning, however this can cause yellowing of certain types of retainers. Once again, our helpful staff will be giving you specific cleaning instructions based on the type of retainer you or your child are fitted with.