The benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. It is imperative that retainers are worn as instructed, because the bone and soft tissues around the teeth will take several months to stabilize. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
Retainer Assurance Program
Life happens. Our Retainer Assurance + Program provides retainers whenever you need them. No stress, no drama. Really!
You can replace or repair your retainer (regularly $500-700 per set) for a one-time fee of $597 and a $49 copay for each clear retainer replacement. Yep – Seriously.
No more pressuring kiddos to dig through the trash to find their lost retainer – yuck! Click here to learn more!
How Retainers are Worn
Your teeth can continue to move throughout your life, so we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers as instructed by Dr. Darcy Cruikshank and Dr. Lauren Weber. After one year, the patient can wear the retainer just at night indefinitely. Dr. Darcy Cruikshank and Dr. Lauren Weber will see you every six to nine months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and take any necessary x-rays.
How to Care for Retainers
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 retainer cleaning solution, such as Retainer Brite, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
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 the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family 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. Cruikshank or Dr. Weber prescribes. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month checkups.
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 between 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.
Dental Examinations and Cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. His or her family dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.