The Basics of Orthodontic Retainers

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Having your braces removed will no doubt be an exciting time because you can finally show off your new smile. However, braces aren’t the final step in orthodontics. You will need to undergo a retention period, and we are pleased to offer a basic review of wearing orthodontic retainers.

Braces typically require several months or even years of use to achieve proper tooth alignment, but the new position then needs to be maintained by holding the teeth in place with a retainer. The timeline required for retainer varies for each patient, as some people wear them for only a few months while others need a permanent appliance. Our orthodontist can determine the required timeline for your retainer use.

The two main types of retainers are fixed and removable. A fixed retainer is also known as permanent because it is cemented to your smile behind the teeth, where you can keep it clean with your usual brushing and flossing routine, though you may find that traditional dental floss is not as effective as a water flosser or floss threader when cleaning the appliance. You can use a solution of water and vinegar to clean a removable retainer with gentle scrubbing motions. Never clean it with regular toothpaste because this can damage the appliance material.

Make a habit of taking your retainer and its case wherever you go so that you can safely store your appliance in a purse, backpack or your pocket when not in use without having to worry about losing it. Lost retainers can result in an expensive replacement.

For more information about orthodontic retainer in Scarsdale, New York, please feel free to contact Blais Orthodontics at 914.472.9595 today and arrange a time to speak with our orthodontist, Dr. Merissa Blais.