The Key to Results that Last a Lifetime
Once your braces come off or you finish your last Invisalign tray, your treatment isn’t quite complete. Your smile will look fantastic but the only way to maintain your teeth in their new positions is to wear a retainer. A retainer locks in your bite and prevents the teeth from shifting back to where they used to be. There are two primary types of retainers: removable and fixed. Your Bellaire or Houston orthodontist will recommend the best type for your needs. If you have any questions, give us a call at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire). Here’s how to care for this final appliance in your smile journey:
Removable Retainer Care
Removable retainers are easy to use and care for. However, there is a lot of room for human error and they only work if you wear them as instructed! When patients don’t wear their retainer as directed, it compromises their treatment results and can actually mean they’ll need a second round of treatment later in life. So, use your retainer according to your doctor’s schedule.
Right after you finish treatment, you’ll most likely wear your retainer full time, taking it out only to clean it and eat, drink, brush and floss. Whenever you remove your retainer, store it inside of its case. We replace a lot of lost retainers because patients sometimes forget this step or they put it in something like a napkin while they’re eating and it accidentally gets thrown away. If you lose your retainer or it’s damaged, contact us as soon as possible so we can make a new one and keep your treatment on track.
To keep your retainer clean and smelling fresh, brush it at least once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste before rinsing it in lukewarm water. If you give it the TLC it deserves, it will last for many years. Whenever you come in to see us, be sure to bring it with you to the appointment.
Fixed Retainer Care
A fixed retainer is bonded to the back of your teeth. The good news about caring for this type of retainer is that as a former braces patient, you’ve already mastered the skills you need to get it done. You’ll want to brush and floss around it just like you did with your braces and keep up with your scheduled appointments.