After Houston braces, our patients have to wear orthodontic appliances known as retainers in order to maintain the new alignment of their teeth. There are several types of retainers available, each with different pros and cons. However, they all have one thing in common besides protecting your teeth from shifting again: they need to be worn properly in order to maximize their effectiveness. When you wear your retainers and take proper care of them, your teeth will be straight and healthy for years and years to come!
Wearing Your Retainers As Instructed
We understand that wearing retainers after finishing Houston braces treatment is quite the dread, but it is absolutely critical if you want to enjoy your brand new smile for years to come. Otherwise, your teeth will quickly go back to their old, misaligned position. We typically recommend that our patients at our Houston and South Houston family dentist offices wear their retainers for 24 hours a day (except when eating) for at least 6 months to a year. However, this will depend on the individual. Once this initial time period is over, you should wear your retainers every night while you sleep.
Cleaning Your Orthodontic Retainers
There are different types of retainers available to our patients. Much like our Houston braces, which type we recommend to you depends on your particular case. Since you spend much of your time wearing your retainers in the first phase, they will collect whatever is on your teeth, including bacteria, plaque, and tartar. If illness-causing bacteria such as streptococcus is left to accumulate on your retainers, you may get sick with an infection, so it is imperative you clean them every day.
Traditional Hawley retainers and transparent removable retainers may be brushed with a soft-bristle toothbrush after each meal. You may also be able to soak your retainers in a cleaning solution, but be sure to ask us for recommendations so you’re keeping your retainers in tip-top condition. We can also discuss how long you should soak them for, as you don’t want to soak them too long. Soaking Hawley retainers for too long may corrode the metal components.
Bonded retainers, on the other hand, are best cleaned by flossing them when you floss your teeth since this type of retainer is glued to the back of your teeth. Our Houston and South Houston family dentists will be more than happy to teach you the proper flossing technique as well.
Visit Our Family Dentist In Houston And South Houston To Learn About Proper Retainer Care
If you are about to wear retainers or have been wearing them for some time, then please book an appointment with us so we can check on your alignment and assess how well you are taking care of your teeth. We will help keep your perfect smile for years to come!