Last Visit Instructions
Retainers, A Final Word
Retainers are for life. Even though you have had your braces off for years, your teeth may shift over time, with those teeth that were twisted or rotated before treatment turn even more. Having orthodontic treatment, even treatment involving extractions, does not mean your teeth will not move in the future. How much your teeth will move and when, is not predictable. Changes vary in severity and age of onset; although, for most people the chance for teeth to move will decrease with time.
You should insert your retainers every night to check that your teeth aren't shifting. If the retainers feel tight, wear them for the night. However, if the retainers do not feel tight, your teeth are holding their position and you don’t necessarily need to wear your retainers that night. You should wear it enough to ensure that it continues to fit well.
By wearing the retainers as needed (try for every night) you improve the chance of keeping your teeth straight. Discontinuing wear of the retainers will allow your teeth to gradually shift over time and become crooked. We recommend that you slowly taper from nightly wear to a minimum of 2-3 nights/weeks, starting with 5 nights/week and progressing to 2-3 nights/week once teeth are stable.
If you have a bonded lower retainer (one glued in), it can be left in place indefinitely provided your dentist checks it at each six-month check up. It does require more effort in cleaning (as you know) and the bonding material does not last forever. Should you encounter problems with your retainers, we will gladly do the necessary repairs. Since our financial agreement covers the active orthodontic treatment and up to two to three years of retainer supervision, any future repair or replacement of the retainers could mean an additional charge.
The final decision regarding your wisdom teeth is up to you and your dentist. When we take our final records, after treatment, we will review the development of your wisdom teeth and provide guidance regarding them. However, we recommend you consult your dentist regarding your wisdom teeth (if you have any) before you graduate from high school.
Even though you no longer return for regular retainer checks, you are always welcome to return if you have any questions or concerns. Our team thanks you for letting us provide your orthodontic care.