Carlisle, PA Orthodontic Treatment Services: Retainers
The day Dr. Killian removes your braces is cause for celebration. After months of work you've finally got the straight teeth and beautiful smile you wanted. However, Dr. Killian's work as your doctor isn't over yet.
You may see the months after removing braces as a time of glorious freedom, but an dentist sees them as the retention period. During this time, you need a retainer to maintain correct tooth alignment and give the jaw's bone and soft tissue time to adjust. Skip this all-important step, and your teeth will slowly drift back to their original positions. You don't want that and neither does Dr. Killian.
Orthodontic Treatment Retainers
How long you wear a retainer depends on the complexity of your orthodontic work and the physical characteristics of your jaw and teeth. You'll probably wear your retainer consistently for several months, after which you only need to wear the retainer at night. Some people, however, need to wear retainers for years, and a few people require retainers for life to maintain tooth alignment.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Killian will provide you with a fixed or removable retainer. Removable retainers include Hawley-type retainers, which consist of a hard plastic mold that covers the inner side of the teeth and a wire in front of the teeth. Removable retainers also include vacuform, or invisible retainers, which cover both sides of the teeth with a thin plastic mold. Vacuform retainers offer a more cosmetic appearance, but the thin plastic is less durable than Hawley-type retainers.
Another option Dr. Killian may suggest is a fixed or permanent retainer. Fixed retainers are wire frameworks an dentist bonds to the back of the teeth. A fixed retainer remains in the mouth for at least two years, or, if you're an adolescent, until your jaw stops growing.
Caring for Your Retainer
Daily retainer cleaning removes food particles and bacteria that can affect dental health. Soak removable retainers in dentist-approved retainer cleaning solutions, and then brush them with a soft toothbrush.
In contrast, fixed retainers need careful brushing and flossing to keep clean. Dr. Killian will explain how you clean and care for your retainer, and is always willing to answer any questions you may have.
Handle your retainer with care, as the wires and plastic can break. If a removable retainer breaks, come and see Dr. Killian as soon as possible. A broken permanent retainer could cause wires to poke or irritate the gums, tongue or cheek. Treat a broken permanent retainer as an orthodontic treatment emergency and call Dr. Killian's office immediately.
Losing removable retainers is a very common problem, especially for children. Some people find it helpful to carry a small container that holds the retainer when not in use. If you lose your retainer, call Dr. Killian for a replacement: going without your retainer for long periods of time can cause teeth to shift positions, which may require corrective braces.
Dr. Killian's Orthodontic Treatment Services
Dr. Killian offers top-notch orthodontic treament services to Carlisle, PA and the surrounding area. If you need orthodontic treatment, call Dr. Killian's office today and start your journey towards a brilliant new smile and straighter teeth.
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