The retention stage of your orthodontic treatment begins when we remove your braces. Your retainer is the single most important thing when it comes to keeping your teeth in position. Wearing it consistently is the key.
A retainer is a device used to hold your teeth in position after a realignment. Upon the removal of your braces, Dr. Parris will provide you with a permanent bonded lower retainer. Dr. Parris will scan for an upper retainer, which will be placed two weeks after the removal of your braces. There are many different kinds of retainers, such as the standard Hawley, fixed retainer, and more. The exact one you receive is dependent on your unique dental situation.
We require our patients to wear their retainers for a minimum of 24 months. However, since your teeth can move at any time, it is really recommended that you wear your retainer four to seven nights per week for life. Your orthodontist will tell you what he recommends for your specific situation.
When your braces are first removed, they are unstable and the most vulnerable to shifting. This is especially true in the first six months. Your teeth will eventually become stable again in about six to nine months. Your retainer will keep your teeth in the desired positions until the ligament fibers attached to the roots of your teeth have reorganized and settled into their final positions.
Never eat with your retainer in, and make sure to put it in its case whenever it isn’t in your mouth. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer with toothpaste before placing it into the retainer case. It is recommended that you disinfect your retainer at least once a week by soaking it in Retainer Brite.
If your retainer has been damaged, or if you have any questions or concerns, please call us at our Memphis orthodontics office. We serve patients all over Memphis including Germantown and Collierville. If there is an after hours emergency, you can contact us via email or through our answering service.