Wearing Your Retainers
Because we want to minimize relapse of your teeth following active orthodontic treatment, the corrections we’ve achieved will be held by the retention we determine best. There are multiple ways to retain teeth.
Your retainers are fragile and should never be abused – breakage may result in additional expense and EXTENDED WEARING TIME! If you lose, bend, or break either of your retainers, call for an appointment IMMEDIATELY.
Do I Have to Wear My Retainers All the Time?
Wear both retainers as directed. If you have questions feel free to call. Do not change how the retainers are worn without discussing with Dr. Marianne Dizon first as this may lead to movement of teeth and other complications. Although we see you less often now than when you wore braces, this retention phase is still extremely important! You’ll need to keep all office appointments to ensure that your treatment is completed successfully.
Will I Be Able to Talk While Wearing My Retainer?
Your speech may be slightly affected the first week you wear your retainers, but don’t worry! All speech difficulties will diminish substantially after your mouth adjusts to them. The best way to speed up discomfort is to talk and practice.
How Do I Care for My Retainers?
Retainers should be cleaned after each meal (providing an excellent opportunity to brush your teeth). The best way to clean your retainer is with hand soap and a toothbrush or denture cleansing tablets. Your retainer is very sensitive to heat.
Rinse it in LUKEWARM water only and never leave it in your hot car. Heat will distort your retainer.Never boil your retainer! To sterilize, soak it in mouthwash.
Never wrap your retainer in a tissue while eating – they tend to be forgotten and eaten by the garbage can!
Never put your retainer in your pocket – they’re often forgotten and destroyed.
The best place to keep your retainer is IN YOUR MOUTH or in the retainer case provided for you.
Don’t “flip” your retainer in your mouth with your tongue – it’s annoying to other people, can result in breakage, and will make your retainer loose.
Keep your retainer out of small children’s and animals’ reach – children like to play with them and animals love to eat them.
Hawley's retainer is made of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and keeps them in place. Named for its inventor, Dr. Charles Hawley, the labial wire, or Hawley bow, incorporates 2 omega loops for adjustment. It is anchored in an acrylic arch that sits in the palate (roof of the mouth). The advantage of this type of retainer is that the metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the anterior teeth as needed.
Invisible Retainer is also known as the vacuum formed retainer (VFR). This is a polypropylene or polyvinylchloride (PVC) material, typically .020" or .030" thick. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth or only from canine to canine (clip on retainer) and is produced from a mold. These retainers are recommended to be in the mouth the whole time except when eating. Since it's made of plastic covering the chewing surfaces of the teeth, it is prone to tearing. Some orthodontists feel that it is important for the top and bottom chewing surfaces to meet to allow for "favorable settling" to occur. These clear retainers are less expensive, less conspicuous, and easier to wear than Hawley's retainers.
Fixed Retainer is typically consists of a passive wire bonded to the tongue-side of the (usually, depending on the patient's bite, only lower) incisors. It is an entirely different category of orthodontic retainers. Unlike the previously-mentioned retainer types, fixed retainers cannot be removed by the patient. Some doctors prescribe fixed retainers regularly, especially where active orthodontic treatments have effected great changes in the bite and there is a high risk for reversal of these changes. While the device is usually required until a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted it is often kept in place for life. Fixed retainers may lead to tartar build-up or gingivitis due to the difficulty of flossing while wearing these retainers. As with dental braces, patients often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small space between the retainer and the teeth.
Expansion Retainer is a device used to widen the upper arch, or roof of the mouth. The amount and rate of expansion is different for every patient. Dr. Dizon will inform you of how many times you will need to widen the expansion screw. Following the active phase of expansion, the appliance should remain in place for a while longer, until new bone generates in the expanded arch.
Why Do I Need to Wear an Expansion Retainer?
Widening the mouth’s palate allows your upper and lower teeth to line up properly, giving you a better bite. Additionally, just as a high palate and a narrow arch restrict your breathing passages, widening the palate, in turn, widens the air passages, enabling you to breathe more easily through the nose.The expanding action gently separates the elastic membrane in the center of the palate. Once the palate has been expanded fully, new bone tissue fills in the space. You’ll notice that widening the arches also temporarily causes a space between your two front teeth. Do not be alarmed. The space closes again naturally.
Will My Expansion Retainer Be Uncomfortable?
Although your expander may cause some initial discomfort, such as a feeling of pressure, or a tingling under the appliance or at the bridge of the nose, these symptoms are temporary. Ibuprofens or pain killers should effectively relieve your discomfort. If it does not, call our office so that we can check your appliance carefully.
How Do I Use My Expansion Retainer?
We will provide you with explicit instructions regarding the activation of your expander. You must regularly activate the appliance according to the schedule and instructions given by our staff. Do not rush or delay the activation of the appliance.
How Do I Care for My Expansion Retainer?
Clean the appliance carefully each time you brush your teeth. This and mouthwash will keep the appliance free of food and prevent irritation. Rinse it in running water and it will wash off saliva from your mouth.
Lip Guard is a specially designed flexible plastic lip bumper shield that snaps securely into place on your orthodontic brackets, and totally covers your braces from end to end. It provides hours and hours of pain relief caused by irritation from orthodontic brackets and wires.
This handy lip protector product can be especially helpful to musicians, public speakers, and "braces newbies" who want a little extra help in those first uncomfortable weeks of orthodontic treatment. You can also wear these for light contact sports (like wrestling practice) where mouthguards are not needed, or in intimate situations where you want protection from oral laceration.
This product works best on smaller brackets and arch wires that are relatively straight, horizontally (may pop off of brackets that are very crooked across the teeth).
Each Lip Guard set contains two clear Guards. Just put guards in container provided and put it in your purse, backpack, or briefcase and go! The Guards are 5 inches long. Trim them with scissors for a custom fit. It may present a choking hazard if used while sleeping so therefore don’t sleep with them.
Mouthguard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. A mouthguard is most often used to prevent injury in contact and non-contact sports, as a treatment for bruxism or mild TMD problems, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as teeth bleaching. Depending on application, it may also be called a mouth protector, mouth piece, gumshield, gumguard, nightguard, occlusal splint, bite splint, or bite plane.