The Importance of Orthodontic Retention

The Importance of Orthodontic Retention
Posted on 03/17/2017

Dr. Stormberg and his dedicated team love seeing patients finish their orthodontic treatment and get to see their beautiful, new smile for the first time. Once your braces come off or you complete your last Invisalign treatment, you begin the very important phase of retention, so you can protect the smile you’ve worked so hard to get.

Why Do You Need a Retainer?

As you get older, the position of your lips, cheeks, tongue and soft tissues changes. Because the soft tissues determine the position of our teeth, they also change with time. Your teeth have a tendency to move back to their former, crooked position because of the fibres in your gums. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, the retention phase of treatment ensures that your teeth stay put. Retention occurs with the diligent daily use of retainers by patients and eliminates the chance of teeth relapsing, or perhaps shifting into a more crooked position.

Types of Retainers

Retainers are used to hold the teeth in their new positions after the braces come off. The gums and bones, as well as the muscles of the lips and cheeks, need a period of time to adapt to the new tooth positions. We offer the following retainers at our La Mesa office:

  1. Spring Retainers
  2. Hawley Retainers
  3. Invisacryl and Invisalign Retainers
  4. Fixed Wire Retainers

You can learn more about each of the retainers by visiting our Retention page.

Retention Tips

Your retainer is something we highly recommend wearing no less than every other night for life. You’ll need your retainer to last a long time, so below you’ll find tips for making this possible:

  • Wear your retainers as directed by Dr. Stormberg.
  • Keep your retainer clean to remove the plaque and bacteria from the surface as soon as possible.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush on the tissue side of the retainer to loosen the invisible bacteria and plaque and rinse thoroughly with cool or warm water. If you use toothpaste, be sure to choose a non-abrasive product.
  • Consider soaking your retainer once a week in partial/retainer cleaner (like Retainer Brite). DO NOT use a denture cleaner, too abrasive on the metal pieces of the retainers.
  • Rinse your mouth and retainer with water if you can’t brush immediately after meals.
  • Avoid hot water, sunlight, and soaking it in mouthwash. The plastic may break down or warp.
  • Be careful not to “click or bite” your retainer in and out with your tongue or teeth. This will weaken the wires and may cause them to break. You can chip some of the retainer off or chip a tooth. Only place retainers on your teeth with your fingers.

Contact Stormberg Orthodontics Today

If you are a Stormberg Orthodontics patient and have any questions about your retainer or orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to call our office at (619) 462-4462. We are committed to providing you with the best orthodontic care from initial consultation all the way through to the retention phase. We’re located in La Mesa, and serve patients from the surrounding areas of El Cajon, Santee, and throughout San Diego County. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Stormberg Orthodontics

  • Stormberg Orthodontics - 4333 Palm Ave., Suite C, La Mesa, CA 91941 Phone: 619-462-4462 Fax: 619-462-8267

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