The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. The patient should be seen by his or her dentist at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.
How retainers are worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic treatment should wear retainers indefinitely. Wear retainers according to Dr. McBeth’s instruction.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If your retainers become loose, are lost, or broken, please contact our office to schedule an appointment to repair or replace the retainer. There will be an office visit charge and a repair or replacement charge for this service.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could result in wearing braces again.
How to care for retainers
Some retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards, or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº). Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth. They should also be kept away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them. Retainers should be cleaned before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. McBeth instructs. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as you get older and your facial muscles change. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check- ups. If the fixed wire becomes loose and needs to be re-bonded or replaced, please contact our office immediately for an appointment. There will be a charge for repair or replacement.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instruments with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing brtween the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.