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Retainer Care: What To Expect After Braces

On the day you get your braces removed by our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL, you’ll be excited and happy to not have to be as careful in choosing what you eat. However, getting your braces off is not the end of the treatment. In order to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions and do not start to shift, you’ll need to wear retainers. As the name implies, a retainer retains the current position of your teeth so that you can maintain your new, straight smile.

Getting Your Braces Off

On the day you get your braces off, you will be brought back to the treatment room, where we will remove brackets along with the wires. Then, Dr. Reddick will carefully remove any residual adhesive from your teeth. If you feel any adhesive or bonding material on your teeth after the braces have been removed, let us know so we can remove it. Excess bits of adhesive or bonding material can feel rough or uncomfortable. Once all your brackets are off, we’ll take some final records including photographs and x-rays. You will feel changes in your mouth after braces.

Getting Fitted for a New Retainer

On the day your braces are removed, your teeth are considered straight and in their proper positions, but they may not stay that way if you simply leave our office after your braces are removed. This is because your jaw and the structures supporting your teeth are not accustomed to your new teeth positions. Instead of holding your teeth in place, these supporting structures may try to pull your teeth back into their original positions. To stop this progression and help you maintain your straight smile, you’ll need to wear a retainer.

We feel removable retainers are best for most patients.  These are created from either digital scans or impressions of your teeth. With these, models of your mouth can be created, and retainers can be fabricated that are custom fit for your mouth. We like to have the retainers fabricated prior to you getting your braces off so there is no time for your teeth to move.

Your Retainer Wear Schedule

Whether you had traditional braces or Invisalign, we recommend you wear your retainers close to full time for the first six months. You can certainly remove them to eat, brush your teeth, and special occasions of course. You’ll also need to clean and sanitize them at least once per day. Any time you are not wearing your retainers, you’ll need to store them in their case. Never leave a retainer in excessively hot areas or in your car. It is possible for extremely hot temperatures to warp your retainers.

Usually, after the first six months, your retainers will only need to be worn at night. Periodic checkups with our orthodontist will help determine how well your teeth are retaining their positions and whether you need to increase or decrease your retainer wear. Without proper retainer wear, shifting of teeth can be expected.  If there is a relapse, it can sometimes require retreatment, but this can often be accomplished with Invisalign clear aligners rather than with another set of metal or ceramic braces. It is best to be diligent about retainer wear so that retreatment is never needed, however.

To learn more about how braces can help you improve your smile and your oral hygiene, contact us online to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL, or give us a call at 321-254-5232 today.

Greetings everyone,

All dentists, including orthodontists, have been ordered by the Florida governor to cease performing non-emergency treatment due to the coronavirus outbreak.  This unfortunately applies to our practice and all upcoming regularly scheduled appointments. As it stands now, this order does not expire until May 8th. It is unclear whether the ban will continue beyond this date.  Because of the unknown nature of this situation, we cannot reschedule appointments at this time. We will do everything we can to reschedule and resume normal operations as soon as possible.

We will continue to have someone in the office during normal hours to answer phone calls and help with any problems that arise.  As always, we will also have someone available on-call for after hours emergencies. The emergency number will be given on our office voicemail.  We ask that anyone visiting our office be free of any symptoms of illness or an asymptomatic diagnosis of COVID-19, for the health of our staff and patients.  The vast majority of times we can help solve a problem without having to visit the office at all.

We ask that our patients please be sure to keep excellent oral hygiene and continue to wear elastics (rubber bands) as prescribed, as well as avoiding hard and sticky foods, as breakage is likely to lead to further delay in treatment progress.  If more elastics are needed we would be happy to arrange for pickup of more or mail them if necessary.

The health and well-being of our entire community is our top priority.  We are proud to have such a wonderful group of patients and families in our practice and we thank you for your understanding as delays in treatment will unfortunately occur.  We sincerely hope this message finds you safe and healthy and we hope for a speedy end to this pandemic.

Thank you,

Dr. Chad Reddick and the Reddick Orthodontics Team