You finally got rid of your orthodontic appliance! We hope you are happy with the results because you have put a challenging period behind you and it certainly took a lot of patience. The result of your effort is your wonderful smile!
After the active orthodontic therapy, the final and very important part which follows is retention phase of the therapy.
During the orthodontic movements, a thin layer of the bone surrounding the tooth, the role of which is stabilization of the tooth in the bone socket – alveolus, is resorbed. After the removal of the appliance, the bone is regenerated – a process of stabilization which lasts for about a year. Therefore, it is very important to understand the instructions given at the office upon receiving the retention appliance.
For the first six months, wearing the retainer half a day and all night is mandatory! It is taken off during meals and for daily cleaning. Following the first checkup, you can have it a few hours less a day (or according to the expert advice at the checkup), gradually reaching the point of having it only during night. During the second year after removal of the orthodontic appliance, the retainer is worn every night and then every other night after that. There is no need for further regular checkups. However, we suggest a yearly checkup for a specialist to control your retainer and to correct any possible irregularities in tooth movements.
As long as the retainer stays nicely along with your teeth, there is no danger of reversal. Therefore, we suggest to keep wearing your retainer at least once a week after two years of removal of the orthodontic appliance – just to be sure! That is especially important for younger and periodontally compromised patients.
Retainer is cleaned with a tooth brush and cold running water. When not used, it should be dry in its box. It is important to always put a clean retainer in clean mouth. It can be periodically refreshed with a denture cleaning tablets.