Count on Nevada Dentistry & Braces to provide you and your children with stellar orthodontic care and aftercare, including the best retainers. Whether you are an existing patient or are looking for a new orthodontist in Las Vegas, our skilled providers can fit you with a retainer to protect your new smile. We can also replace your lost or broken retainer.
All About Dental Retainers
After your braces come off, we will provide you with a suitable retainer to protect your teeth and keep those long months of waiting worth it. As you near this long-awaited day, you may have questions about how retainers work. We’re here to get you some answers.
- Why do I need a retainer?
- What kinds of retainers are there?
- How do I care for my retainer?
- When can I stop wearing my retainer?
- Does wearing a retainer have any side effects?
- What if I lose or break my retainer?
Why You Should Wear A Retainer After Braces
Dental retainers are a crucial tool to help keep your teeth straight after your braces come off. Without a retainer, your teeth will tend to shift back to their original positions. This is especially true in the first year to eighteen months after your braces come off.
If you have a removable mouth retainer, you will need to wear it all of the time, including at night. You should, however, take it out when eating, swimming, or playing sports. Do not stop wearing your retainer unless your orthodontist tells you to.
Retainers come in several varieties.
- Removable, Hawley Retainers – these are made of wire.
- Removable Clear Plastic Retainers – molded to fit your newly straight teeth perfectly.
- Permanent Retainers – cemented to the backs of your teeth.
Caring For Your Removable Retainer
If you and your dentist decide on a removable retainer once your braces are off, you will want to know how to care for them properly. We have some handy tips for you to start with.
- Do not wear a removable retainer while eating, swimming, or playing sports.
- Brush your teeth after eating, then clean your retainer before putting it back in your mouth.
- You can optionally use specialized cleaning products to keep your retainer bright and shiny.
- You may use toothpaste to clean your retainer, although toothpaste may make your retainer dull.
- Keep your retainer in its case in a safe place – not on a food tray. Retainers are notorious for accidentally being thrown out with the trash!
- Do not leave your retainer in a hot car; heat may warp and damage the plastic.
Permanent Retainer Care
If you have a permanently bonded retainer, you must brush and floss around it very carefully, at least twice a day. Food and plaque build-up around the retainer leaves you at a higher risk of tooth decay.
When Can I Stop Wearing My Retainer?
Don’t stop wearing your removable retainer unless your orthodontist says it is okay to do so. You will most likely have to wear it 24 x 7 (except when eating) for at least the first year after your braces come off.
Your orthodontist may eventually allow you to stop wearing your mouth retainer during the day, but you will likely have to put it in at night indefinitely.
If you don’t follow your provider’s directions, your teeth may revert to their original state, wasting all that time and money you spent on orthodontic care. Leaving out your retainer also increases your risk for the various dental conditions braces were meant to help prevent.
I Lost My Retainer, Or It No Longer Fits
If you lose your retainer, if it has become cracked or broken, or if it doesn’t fit right, please don’t wait for your next scheduled visit. Be sure and call Nevada Dentistry & Braces for an interim appointment. Failure to get a replacement retainer may cause your teeth to shift.
Are There Side Effects To Wearing A Retainer?
Occasionally, a new retainer can increase your saliva. Also, if you fail to keep your retainer clean, it can harbor bacteria. If a wire retainer breaks, it can lacerate the delicate tissues of your mouth. The metal of a permanent retainer on the back of your teeth may also irritate your tongue.
If you experience problems with your retainer, or it doesn’t fit right, call Nevada Dentistry & Braces right away so our experienced staff can help you troubleshoot and get the most comfortable fit possible.
Dental Care For Your Entire Family In Las Vegas, NV
Most dentists refer their patients needing braces to outside orthodontists, which costs you additional time and money, not to mention the stress of juggling appointments at multiple locations. Here at Nevada Dentistry & Braces, we have expert family dentists as well as orthodontists working together in one office.
Ready for a retainer or in need of a new one? Call us today to find out how quality, affordable dental care in a single location for the entire family can be yours.