Retainers keep your newly aligned teeth in place after treatment with braces or Invisalign® so you can enjoy a perfect smile in the future. At Embassy Row Orthodontics in Bethesda, Maryland, Wayne Hickory, DMD, MDS, MS, provides fixed and removable retainers and can help you manage them. To find out more about how to use and care for your retainer, call Embassy Row Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.
Retainers are orthodontic appliances that you must wear after you complete your treatment with either braces or Invisalign®. Without retainers, your teeth can shift back into their original position or otherwise drift out of perfect alignment.
There are a few types of retainers. Some stay on your teeth permanently. Others are removable, and Dr. Hickory tells you how often to wear it and for how long.
You’ll never stop wearing your retainer entirely, but it soon becomes part of your routine. However, if you lose it, damage it, or it shows signs of wear-and-tear, you should come to Embassy Row Orthodontics for a new retainer.
Embassy Row Orthodontics currently offers two types of retainers. Dr. Hickory instructs you about the type he selects for your treatment and offers detailed instructions for its maintenance and care. Your options are:
Dr. Hickory affixes a flexible stainless steel wire to the backside of four to six of your teeth. That wire stays there permanently to hold the teeth together and prevent them from shifting.
This retainer doesn’t require much extra care, though you’ll need a special tool for flossing under the wire between your teeth.
Vivera retainers are high-quality transparent trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. They are similar to Invisalign aligners and made using the same technology.
Caring for your Vivera retainer requires a few simple steps. By caring for your retainer properly, you can maximize its lifespan and avoid needing frequent replacements because of wear-and-tear or warping.
Each time you remove your retainer, you should rinse it in lukewarm water. Don’t clean your retainer with hot water as it could warp its shape.
If any food debris gets stuck in the crevices, clean it with a wet cotton swab. You can also brush your retainer gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
Dr. Hickory tells you how often to wear your removable retainer. In most cases, he recommends wearing it all the time for the first nine months. Then, you can switch to wearing it only at night while you sleep. Be sure to follow his instructions closely to maintain your orthodontic treatment results.
If you need a new retainer, or if it’s time to end your orthodontic treatment and start using one, call Embassy Row Orthodontics or schedule an appointment online today.