RETAINERS FOR LIFE
RETAINERS: YOUR BEST FOREVER SMILE INSURANCE
Your teeth are in motion throughout your whole life. Retainers must be worn indefinitely as an active insurance policy to the investment you have made into you or your child’s forever smile.
Retainers help you retain your beautiful smile for life. Whether you were in braces or clear aligners, your treatment plan at Sunshine Smiles includes one upper arch retainer and one lower arch retainer.
Failure to wear your retainers may result in undesirable movement of your teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment. In fact, this is the prime reason adults end up having orthodontic re-treatment. At some point, they stopped wearing their retainers after having orthodontic treatment when they were younger.
RETAINERS ARE INCLUDED IN YOUR TREATMENT PLAN
Once you have completed your orthodontic treatment in either braces or clear aligners, Sunshine Smiles will make a set of unique to you retainers in our in-house lab. You will wear your retainers at nighttime only, indefinitely, or for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight.
Your retainers are clear plastic. They resemble a clear aligner, but they’re made of a material that’s slightly less flexible. This assures your teeth hold their position.
WHAT IF I LOSE, BREAK OR HAVE TO WRESTLE MY RETAINER FROM MY DOG?
Call us right away! And yes, warning, dogs love retainers! Please keep your retainer in a safe, sterile place when not in use. The fee for a replacement retainer is $150 per arch or $300 for a set of upper and lower arches. It is imperative that you come in right away because your teeth will move very quickly. If your treatment was with a clear aligner like Invisalign, Spark, or Sunshine Smiles Aligners, make sure you hold onto your last aligner. This will be your backup retainer if something happens. The aligner is made of a more flexible material than your retainer so they are not a forever retainer but can be used in case of an emergency until your new retainer is made in our in-house lab.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment plan contract includes one set of retainers. If your retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there is a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, call us right away.
CARING FOR RETAINERS
Retainers are made of 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 (F). Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in your mouth. Clean before and after placement in the mouth. The material used for fabrication is slightly porous so plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution such as Efferdent will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Rinse your retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Habits or conditions that require a strong commitment to retainer wear:
- Mouth breathing
- Lip sucking
- Clenching and/or grinding
- Pen or pencil biting
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture or abnormal tongue posture
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Playing a musical instrument with a reed
- Severely rotated teeth
Fixed retainers do not apply to everyone. We prescribe fixed retainers in some cases when you have a tongue thrust or spaces and gaps that want to push back open. The fixed retainer acts as extra insurance in addition to a nighttime wear retainer.
Otherwise known as a bonded wire, lingual retainer, a fixed retainer should stay on forever. The fixed wire will protect your teeth as you get older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check-up. It is important to make sure your fixed retainer is being cleaned and maintained correctly to avoid any gum or bone issues.