Orthodontic Retainers

Orthodontic retainers help maintain straight teeth. After you invest time and money in braces or aligners to achieve a perfect smile, you want to keep your teeth in their new positions. Retainers help prevent your teeth from returning to their original alignment. At Tidy Smiles, we can provide you with an orthodontic retainer in Palatine, IL. We work with dental labs for a custom fit. 

Without a retainer, your teeth may gradually return to their pre-treatment positions. This relapse can occur due to the elastic fibers in your gums and bone, which have a memory of their previous positions. Retainers provide the necessary support to keep your teeth aligned and your smile beautiful. Custom-made retainers prevent orthodontic relapse and the need for more costly treatment. 

Types of Orthodontic Retainers in Palatine, IL 

Two main categories of orthodontic retainers include removable and fixed retainers. Each type serves a specific purpose and has its benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these differences can help you decide which type of retainer is best for you. 

Removable retainers are convenient because you can take them out for eating, cleaning, and special occasions. However, they require discipline to wear consistently. If you do not wear these retainers daily, your teeth can begin to shift. 

Fixed retainers, or permanent retainers, are bonded to the back of your teeth to keep them in place. These retainers are particularly effective at preventing teeth from shifting, as they provide constant support. 

How to Get a Custom Retainer

You can get an orthodontic retainer in just two visits to our Palatine dental office. First, we will take dental impressions of your teeth. We will send these impressions to a lab, where technicians create your custom retainer. They use quality materials to ensure your retainer lasts. 

Once your retainer is complete, you will return to our office where we ensure it fits properly. We will also provide a case to carry your retainer. 

How to Care for Your Orthodontic Retainer 

Proper care for your retainer is essential to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. Taking the time to clean and store your retainer correctly will help ensure it continues to support your smile. Here are some tips for caring for your retainer: 

Cleaning Instructions 

● Brush your retainer with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. This helps remove plaque and bacteria that can accumulate on the retainer. 

● Soak your retainer in a denture cleaner or a retainer cleaning solution. This helps disinfect the retainer and keep it fresh. Follow the instructions on the cleaning solution for the recommended soaking time. 

● Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the plastic of removable retainers. Use lukewarm or cool water instead. 

● For fixed retainers, use a floss threader to clean between the wire and your teeth. This helps remove food particles and plaque that can get trapped in hard-to-reach areas. 

Storage Tips 

Proper storage can prevent damage and loss of your retainer. Here are some storage tips: 

● When not in use, always store your retainer in its case. This protects it from damage and reduces the risk of misplacement. 

● Do not wrap your retainer in tissue or place it on a napkin, as it can easily be thrown away by mistake. 

● Keep your retainer away from pets or children, who may chew on it if left unattended. ● If you are traveling, consider having a backup retainer case if you misplace your primary one. 

Maintenance Dos and Don'ts 

Maintaining your retainer involves following some essential dos and don'ts: 

● Do wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist. Consistent wear is necessary to prevent teeth from shifting.

● Don't leave your retainer out in open areas where it can get lost or damaged. Always store it in its case when not in use. 

● Do bring your retainer to your appointments for checks and adjustments. This ensures it continues to fit properly and function effectively. 

● Do remove your retainer before you eat and drink. If you eat or drink with anything other than water, it could stain your retainer. Leftover food can also attract harmful bacteria to your mouth. 

● Don't attempt to adjust the retainer yourself if it feels uncomfortable. Consult with our office to make the necessary adjustments. 

Common Issues with Retainers 

Retainers can encounter a few common problems. Knowing these can help you manage them effectively and ensure your retainer continues to support your smile. 

First, it's easy to misplace a removable retainer. Always store it in its case when not in use. If lost, contact Tidy Smiles for a replacement as soon as possible. Being without a retainer for an extended period can lead to teeth shifting, undoing the progress made during your treatment. Teeth shifting out of position may increase your need for further treatment. 

You can also establish a routine to keep track of your retainer. Keep the retainer case in a consistent location, such as your bathroom or bedroom, so you always know where to find it. If you accidentally misplace your retainer, check common areas where it might have been placed, such as your bedside table or kitchen counter. 

Retainers can get damaged if not handled with care. Avoid bending the wires on Hawley retainers or biting down hard on Essix retainers. If damaged, bring the retainer to us for repair. A damaged retainer can compromise its effectiveness and may no longer provide the necessary support to keep your teeth aligned. 

If you notice any damage to your retainer, such as cracks in the plastic or bent wires, contact our office as soon as possible. We can assess the damage and see if you need repairs or a replacement. 

In addition, if you lose your retainer, contact us as soon as possible. Don't wait because your teeth can shift out of place. 

Keep Your Smile Straight 

If you need a new orthodontic retainer in Palatine, IL, call Tidy Smiles at 224-268-1797. You can also schedule an appointment with us online. Let us know if you have questions about retainer care or if you need a replacement retainer. We're here to help.