If you are one of our patients, you may have been prescribed aligners or braces to help your smile. Once these orthodontic appliances are removed, you will receive a retainer or retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Retainers are a simple method to ensure that all of the fantastic work on your teeth will not revert to its previous state. If you are prescribed retainers, you may have questions about them. At Hook Orthodontics, we have the answers.

Retention - Hook Orthodontics

Why Do I Need Retainers?

Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth stabilize for several months after braces are removed, the orthodontic retention system must be worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate further treatment. Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we ask our patients to wear retainers as prescribed.

Benefits of Wearing Retainers

Many positive effects result from wearing your retainer correctly. Some of these benefits include:

  • Keeps teeth straight – Once your dental appliance has been removed, your teeth will be very well aligned. Of course, you want to keep them that way. By following instructions for wearing your retainer, your smile will continue to look its’ straightest for years to come.
  • Helps with speech Impediments and breathing – Many orthodontists have noted that retainer use helps correct the misalignment and malocclusion that causes speech disabilities. Not only that, but orthodontists have also found that patients that wear retainers have reduced snoring or loud breathing problems.
  • Promotes proper oral hygiene – If you wear your retainer, your teeth have a much better chance of remaining straight. And if your teeth remain straight, it’s easier to clean and floss due to the teeth’s correct alignment.
  • Prevents diabetes – Poor oral health may contribute to the chance of developing diabetes, as well as worsening the pain of someone who has diabetes. Why? This is because bad oral hygiene can bring out the blood-related effects of diabetes.

Caring for Your Retainers

You want to get the best results from wearing your retainers. To maximize the effects, here are some tips to help you to take care of your retainers:

  • Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards, or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (F).
  • The orthodontic retention system should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth.
  • Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and toothpaste will remove the plaque that may cling to the retainer’s surfaces.
  • Do not boil your retainer or put it in hot water.
  • Don’t fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant. Garbage cans don’t make happy hunting grounds.
  • Take your retainer out when swimming in a lake or ocean. If it falls out, you may not be able to find it. The same goes for a swimming pool, depending on the size of the pool.
  • Please make sure your retainer is in your mouth at all times. Your retainer should only be out of your mouth when brushing, eating, or swimming.
  • Your lower retainer may be a fixed retainer bonded onto your teeth. It is not considered permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth, if you are not careful.
  • Bring your retainer to your check-up appointment. Please call us if anything happens to your retainer; for example, if your retainer is broken, lost, or doesn’t fit. If your lower bonded retainer wire comes out, keep it and bring it in at your next appointment for rebonding.
  • Keep things clean! Be sure to brush your teeth without your retainer.

Contact Hook Orthodontics Now

At Hook Orthodontics, we have years of experience with many dental tools, including retainers. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have about the care of retainers. Reach out to us now to get more information or to schedule your appointment at any of our three Oahu locations by either visiting us online or calling us at 808.261.4696.