Dentist in Wilmington, NC

Most comprehensive orthodontic treatment will involve the use of braces or aligners. In either case, both appliances cause minor movements of your teeth to correct misalignment. This process will guarantee a straight smile as well as an even bite for just about everyone.

However, for a permanent orthodontic solution, braces are not the only stage required. The retention phase begins once your braces have been taken off. To maintain your newly straight smile after treatment, it is vitally important to follow through with retention. Without a retainer, your teeth may shift back to their original positions.

Your final orthodontic results will depend on your retainer, so be sure to keep your appointments with Dr. Jacob Long even after your braces have been removed. He may recommend one of several different types of retainers:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, transparent plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the back of the teeth.

Dr. Jacob Long will provide you with the retainer option that is best suited for your orthodontic treatment plan. For best results, make sure to wear your retainer exactly as instructed. For months or even years, your teeth have been under active treatment from your braces. To ensure that your teeth do not shift back out of their corrected positions, wearing your retainer is crucial.

When it’s not in your mouth, try to keep your retainer in its case. When poorly cared for, bacteria can build up on your retainer, making it less hygienic and affecting the fit. Regular cleaning to remove these bacteria is a vital part of proper retainer care.

To clean your retainer, brush it gently with a wet toothbrush. You can also disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a cleansing solution. Thoroughly rinse the appliance with cold or room temperature water before placing it back in your mouth. Hot water can cause the retainer to lose its proper shape.

For more information about proper care and use of your retainer, contact us today.

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