Maintaining Your Beautiful Smile

You’ve worked hard for your beautiful smile — keep it that way!

All About Retainers

Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey at Pioneer Orthodontics isn’t quite over just yet.

To keep your smile looking its best, you’ll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Now that active treatment is complete and your retainer is ready for use, it is time to start the next phase of treatment, called retention.

Remember: this phase is equally as important as active treatment, so follow the instructions below to make sure your smile stays straight!

Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

Taking Care of Your Removable Retainer

Just like braces, taking care of your removable retainer comes with a learning curve. It is important to know how to wear them, how to wash them, and what to avoid so that your retainer from Pioneer Orthodontics stands the test of time.

  • For the first six months, wear your retainer at all times unless you are eating, brushing your teeth, participating in sports, or playing musical instruments.
  • After six months, wear your retainer when sleeping.
  • Store your retainer in your retainer case when you are not wearing it.
  • Bring your retainer to every follow-up appointment.
  • Clean your retainer by brushing it daily with a toothbrush and toothpaste for maximum freshness. Soak it in white vinegar once a week for one hour to remove tartar buildup.
  • Avoid excessive heat like boiling water.
  • If your retainer is lost, broken, or bent, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tewes for a new retainer. 
  • If you have any questions about your retainer, call one of our offices in Lincoln and York! Dr. Tewes is always available to answer your questions so that you have the best retainer experience possible.

The retention phase of treatment is essential to make sure you don’t have to wear braces again, so follow these instructions closely and you’ll be on your way to a happy smile!

Types of Retainers

Retainers from Pioneer Orthodontics are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits on the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.

Call Our Office

If you have questions about the style of retainer that would work best for your needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tewes today!