Winner of Best Practice Irish Dentistry Awards 2023
Maintain your dream smile results for longer with a custom-made retainer from Dublin Orthodontist.
Why do I need a retainer?
If you’re among the many people who have chosen orthodontic treatment to improve your smile, it’s important to know that undergoing braces or Invisalign® treatment is the first step toward a long-lasting, stunning smile. The next step is to regularly wear your retainer. This encourages your teeth to maintain their ideal position and can prevent any future shifting or migrating of the teeth that may happen in the years to come.
What to expect after orthodontic treatment
Regardless of your age, it usually takes several months for your teeth to adjust to not having braces. Dr Claire O’Sullivan will probably recommend that you wear your retainer all the time for the first few weeks and then gradually reduce the time you wear it. Eventually, you will only have to wear your retainer at night in order to maintain your new smile.
It is essential to follow our instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer, as each person’s situation is different. If you do not wear your retainers for an extended period, your teeth may begin to go back to their original position, and you may risk your retainers no longer fitting. If this does happen, contact Dublin Orthodontist to get a new retainer and discuss your options.
Types of retainers
- Bonded retainers: Permanently attached to the backside of your lower teeth for an easy way to maintain your results.
- Palatal retainers: A custom-made, bonded retainer designed to go on the backside of your upper teeth.
- Removable retainers: A clear plastic retainer that’s moulded to the shape of your teeth and must be worn each night.
FAQs about retainers
How do I care for my retainer?
Like your teeth, retainers can accumulate plaque and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. If you opt for bonded retainers, you can continue brushing and flossing your teeth as normal, taking extra care to ensure the areas around the retainers are free of debris.
For removable retainers, it’s important to brush your retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste at least once daily. It is also important to keep it moist when not in use. If it becomes too dry, it can become brittle and break. Here at Dublin Orthodontist, we tell our patients to soak their retainers in water or a retainer cleaning solution when they aren’t wearing them. Just make sure the water is not too hot, as that could distort or change the shape of your retainer, affecting how it fits.
Do I have to wear a retainer forever?
That’s up to you and your teeth. Immediately after treatment, we often advise patients to wear their retainers full-time for several months. We will slowly decrease the number of hours you need to wear your retainer, eventually recommending that you use it only at night. Once you are in maintenance with your smile, it’s okay if you skip a few nights here and there. But if you notice that a lot of time has passed since you’ve worn your retainer or you see a change in your teeth, we recommend that you resume wearing it as soon as possible to prevent any permanent changes.
What do I do if my retainer doesn’t fit anymore?
If your retainer doesn’t fit, that means that your teeth have migrated after orthodontic treatment. This usually happens only if a patient didn’t follow the recommendations for post-treatment retainer use or if they’ve stopped wearing their retainer at night. If this happens to you, you will need to book an appointment at Dublin Orthodontist to have us make adjustments to your retainer or fit you for a new one to prevent more movement of your teeth.
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