You finished orthodontic treatment—now what?
Congratulations, you’ve made it through your orthodontic journey! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your new smile for the first time. Make sure to take the time to smile big and celebrate your healthy, beautiful smile.
We understand you’ve gone through a lot and have had to make some sacrifices to get that perfect smile, which is why it’s important to follow the instructions of your orthodontic specialist. After all, they’re the experts. Here are a few tips to adhere to in order to make sure you keep the alignment of your newly straightened teeth.
Wear your retainer as instructed
Once your braces are removed, your orthodontist will likely provide you with a retainer. Your retainer will either be fixed (bonded to your teeth and remains in your mouth) or removable (device you remove for eating, etc.).
Wearing your retainer is especially important because your teeth and the fibers surrounding them have memory. That means your teeth may want to move back to their original position. If you don’t want to lose the progress you made with orthodontic treatment, make sure to wear your retainers as instructed by your orthodontic specialist.
Don’t worry if your speech is slightly altered for a few days
People usually adjust quickly to wearing a retainer. It may take a couple of days, but soon it will become part of your regular routine. For the first couple of days you may produce more saliva than usual, which is a normal reaction. You may also experience a bit of difficulty speaking for a short time, and may have a temporary lisp. Once you become accustomed to your retainer your speech will return to normal.
Keep track of your retainers
If you have a removable retainer, make sure to keep track of it! It is very common to accidentally fold retainers in a napkin and discard them, or for your retainers to become an accidental pet chew toy. Excessive heat will also ruin your retainer so be careful where you store them.
To prevent most of these issues, it’s important to carry and use your retainer case. Keeping your retainer in its case will help you make sure your retainer is safe so you can maintain your healthy, straight smile. As a general rule, if your retainer is not in your mouth it should be in your case.
Clean your retainers
Keep your retainers fresh, germ-free, and in tip-top condition with proper cleaning. Consult with your orthodontic specialist on how to clean your particular retainer!
If you have any questions about how to wear your retainers or are preparing to finish orthodontic treatment, contact your TAO orthodontist.