As soon as Dr. Krishnan takes your braces off, we know that you’re excited and can’t wait to show off your brand new, perfect smile. However, is essential that you continue to care for your new smile by maintaining proper oral hygiene habits and wearing the retainer that is prescribed to you. Even though your teeth look perfect after you get your braces off, your gums, ligaments and bones in your jaw have not fully adapted to your teeth’s new positioning. This means that it’s possible for your teeth to start moving back to the original positioning, which is where retainers come in. The benefits of retainers include:

  • Keep That Smile Looking Perfect: Retainers keep your teeth in their new positioning while your jaw and gums adjust
  • Different Types To Meet Any Need: standard or clear removable retainers, or fixed retainers in special cases
  • Easily Removable: Just take it out for easy cleaning or comfort when it’s not needed.
  • A Small Commitment For Long-Term Results: In the first 6 months after finishing orthodontic treatment, retainers need to be worn full-time: day and night. After those 6 months, you can wear your retainer just at night for 2 or 3 nights out of the week!
  • Stay Healthy: Keeping your new smile makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene, which has fantastic health benefits like reduced risk for infection and disease later in life.

Retainers ensure that you have a radiant, confident smile for the rest of your life, and ensure that you have a healthy future as well.

Hawley Retainer

hawley.jpgThe most common type of retainer is known as the Hawley retainer, which is made from metal wires and sturdy acrylic. Using impressions of your teeth, Dr. Krishnan will create a Hawley retainer designed to fit perfectly with your new smile. When the retainer is in place, it helps maintain the new width of the upper arch of your jaw, so it does not re-adjust and return to its position before you got your braces. The acrylic on the retainer can be personalized with a wide array of colors, so you can make your retainer match your style!

Clear Retainer

essix.jpgThe clear retainer replaces the metal wires and acrylic with a transparent plastic retainer that is placed over the entire arch of teeth. Clear retainers are rigid and fit around your teeth perfectly, giving them not room to move from their position after you get your braces off. An added benefit is that clear retainers are barely noticeable, so you can wear them out in public without worrying about how you look with your retainer. Not all patients may be eligible for a clear retainer, so ask Dr. Krishnan to see if it’s right for you.

Proper Retainer Care

Just as you made sure your braces or Invisalign aligners were properly taken care of, you need to make sure that you care for your retainer as well. Here are three key tips for proper retainer care:

  • Don’t Lose It: We all misplace things, but retainers can be expensive to replace. Get a case for it, and do everything you can to keep track of it.
  • Don’t Eat or Drink With It: Food and certain drinks have the potential to damage your retainer, so remember to take it out for meals!
  • Clean It Regularly: Your retainer can easily build up food particles and bacteria, so make sure you keep it clean. Brush it with a toothbrush daily and soak it in a cup of warm water with a denture cleansing solution, like Efferdent or Polident, at least once a week for about 10-15 minutes. Also, clean your mouth thoroughly after every meal so particles don’t get trapped between your teeth and the retainer.

Call Dr. Krishnan For More Information

Never let your smile revert back to something that you’re not proud to show off. After get your braces off, it’s up to if you’re new smile will last a lifetime or not. Make sure that you wear your retainer and care for it properly, and your future will be full of bright, confident smiles. If you have questions about the retention process once you get your braces off, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Krishnan Orthodontics, and we’ll happily answer them! We serve patients in Prince Frederick, Maryland and the surrounding areas in Calvert County. Contact us today!