While the hard work is over and your braces have been removed, you’re not quite done yet. Because teeth can move after braces are removed, we will be giving you retainers to wear every day. Depending on your treatment, you will be instructed to wear the retainers either every night or all day long. While we almost never tell our patients to stop wearing retainers, they are especially important in the first year after your braces were removed and while you are still growing.
There are two main types of retainers: removable and bonded.
- Bonded retainers are placed on the tongue-side of the lower teeth in cases that start with moderate to severe crowding. Since they are bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth, maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical. After nine months to a year, we may wish to remove the bonded retainer and replace it with a removable nighttime retainer.
- Removable retainers come in and out of your mouth and are generally worn at nighttime only. It is important to wear them daily as well as keep them clean. You can brush them with antibacterial soap or toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to use denture cleaner (like Efferdent or Polydent) a few times per week to help keep them clean.
Remember – Take good care of your retainers. “Keep them in your face, in their case and no other place!”