Instructions for Fixed Retainers
Congratulations in completing your active orthodontic treatment. Now that your teeth are aligned, your retainers are a very crucial part to maintain your teeth straight or keep the gaps closed. If you do not follow these instructions your teeth are likely to move!
You can now use your normal toothbrush as opposed to the brace toothbrush you used when you had your braces. On top of that, you need to use a special toothbrush called “interdental brush” in between your teeth where your retainer is fitted. You can buy an “interdental brush” from the reception or from a big pharmacy. You cannot use normal dental floss where you retainer is. If you prefer, you can use “Super Floss”. You can buy that from the reception or from a big pharmacy as well, but we usually prefer the use of interdental brushes.
How long do I keep these retainers? Ideally, you keep this retainer for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. If you want to keep your teeth perfectly straight for life, you keep this retainer for life. Please note that retention is a life-time commitment. If your brushing deteriorates, your orthodontist will have to remove the retainer to sacrifice the alignment of your teeth for their health. If you break your retainer frequently, your retainer will be removed. Removal of your retainer can result in your teeth moving.
How can I make sure I do not break my retainer? Biting into some hard or chewy foods can result in breakage of your retainer. The three usual things to avoid that can break your retainer are :
- Hard crusty bread
- Hard fruit & vegetables like apples and raw carrot 3. Toffee or hard/sticky sweets
If you want to bite into an apple or raw carrot with your front teeth you need to cut them up into slices first
Do I need to come back to check my retainers? Yes! You usually come back in 3 months time to have your teeth and your retainers checked. Please make sure you attend your appointment as if you miss your appointment, we will not contact you to make a new one. If there are any problems with your retainers you need to contact the practice ASAP! Remember, if your retainer comes off even for a short period of time, your teeth can move! You need to visually check your retainer every night when brushing to make sure it has not come undone from your teeth. Sometimes the glue comes undone from your tooth/teeth and you do not notice it just by feeling your retainer with your tongue. The teeth can move very quickly when the retainer comes undone from teeth. It is your responsibility to make sure that the retainer is attached to your teeth. If your teeth move as a result of your retainer breaking without you contacting us, you may need to get braces for which you may need to pay.