Looking after braces
When your braces are placed at ORTHO we will explain to you in-depth how to look after and care for them.
Below are some helpful tips.
Essix Retainer Tips
1. Retainers should not be worn while eating. You must remove retainer whilst eating and drinking because it may cause staining to the teeth.
2. To remove retainers from your mouth, apply pressure to the molar area on both sides. Removing your retainer on one side only can cause the retainer to crack.
3. If you miss a few nights, wear the retainer full time and bite down to seat if fully. The teeth may be a little sore, but should realign in a short period of time. If they do not, call our clinic.
4. Remove your retainers when swimming or playing contact sports.
Essix retainers are NOT a mouth guard.
Cleaning and Maintenance
To clean your appliance, use a soft toothbrush, liquid soap and cold or warm running water. NEVER USE HOT WATER, it can distort the retainer. Do not brush the
appliance with toothpaste – it dulls the plastic and may crack the appliance. To maintain the brilliance of your appliance use Retainer Brite tablets twice a week.
Because your Essix retainer is small and clear, it is easy to lose. Store the Essix retainer in the retainer case provided and place it in a safe location when it is not in use. Be sure to store your retainers where pets cannot get at them!
The Essix retainer is made of plastic. Therefore, you should keep it away from heat including such things as:
car dashboards, boiling water, microwave ovens, washing machines, and the clothes dryer. The plastic will distort and the retainer will no longer fit properly if it is exposed to heat.
Always bring your Essix retainers with you for each recall appointment with us. If you should ever have a problem with your retainer, or if it is lost or distorted, please call the clinic. There will be a charge for a lost or broken retainer, or if retainer is not worn and not fitting.
The Essix retainers are subject to normal wear and tear and may need to be replaced, especially if you are going to wear them long-term. Essix retainers last approximately for two years. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, expect the retainer to wear out sooner. After the 12-month supervised retention period, it will become your responsibility to replace the worn retainers. Replacement retainers can be provided at an additional fee.
Bonded retainers are made from multi-strand stainless steel wire and are bonded on the inside of the upper and lower front teeth with composite material. Bonded retainers have the advantage of being more cosmetic and less intrusive, however they are difficult to clean and maintain and are not suitable for all cases.
Extra time is required to maintain the bonded retainer. Daily flossing and thorough brushing around your retainer must become a part of your routine. Keep plaque and food debris from accumulating around the wires. Poor hygiene around the bonded retainer wire can lead to gingivitis, cavities, or even periodontal disease.
Continue to see your family dentist and hygienist for regular check ups and cleanings, especially if there is a tendency to get tartar deposits around your teeth. Bonded retainers require on-going maintenance. Six monthly check ups with your own dentist are recommended. If you do not attend your general dental practitioner for regular check ups, scale and polish appointments or if you simply cannot manage to keep the bonded retainer clean, then it should be removed.
We ask that you check the bonding material or “buttons” that hold these retainers in place, very often and carefully. Should any of the buttons require replacement, (if it has chipped off, or come away from any tooth) please call us immediately to have it looked at, repaired or replaced. After 12 months of retention supervision in our clinic, repair of bonded retainers and/or replacement will involve additional expense.