key to maintaining your beautiful smile
from your orthodontic
the desk of - Dr. Brian Bergh
Braces By Bergh
Brand Blvd, Ste 201
Glendale, CA 91202
have just spent years getting the smile of your dreams, and now you are
facing the responsiblity of maintaing the results of your orthodontic
call this a
responsibility because it does require a commitment on your part to
wearing your orthodontic retainers on a regular schedule. The
proper schedule will be recommend by your orthodontist and those
instructions should be followed as recommended - this will ensure your
teeth stay aligned well.
Teeth have a "mind" of their own
with the best orthodontic treatment, your teeth will want to move and
return to their initial position. I explain this as similar
to if you have just moved to a new house - you are excited
your new place, but because of familiarity, you have feelings of
returning (longing) to your old place where you were very comfortable.
are the same way - they want to return to their original place after
orthodontic treatment. This is in no way a failure of your
orthodontic treatment, but a result of the natural biology of
your teeth, bones and gums.
Darn those elastic fibers
your teeth are moved through orthodontic treatment, they are in a place
that they feel comfortable. But this is not the best place
them. Your orthodontist has decided that your teeth would be
healthier and more beautiful if they were moved to new position.
teeth are "fastened" to the gums and bone around them by millions of
elastic fibers. As your teeth are moved through orthodontic
treatment, these fibers stretch like a rubber band.
Forces pull on your
just like tight rubber bands
as you already know, a stretched rubber band pulls back to its original
shape. Thus, the elastic fibers attached to your teeth are
pulling your teeth back to the position from where they originally
time, these elastic
fibers will re-organize, but even after many years, teeth still want to
move. We still do not understand all the dynamics of these
changes, but orthodontists do know that an orthodontic retainer is critical
in keeping your teeth in their correct position.
two basic categories of orthodontic retainers: fixed and removable
Fixed (or bonded) retainers
you might have guessed, fixed retainers are "permanently" bonded to
your teeth, just like your braces. These retainers are taken
care of just like taking care of your orthodontic appliance (your
Take care of your
and they will take care of you!!
orthodontic retainers are durable, but not indestructable.
will last for years and years, but only if you take care of them as
are two basic types of removable retainers - wire/acrylic and
retainers. The care for each type of orthodontic retainer is
First the common care
recommendations for both types of orthodontic retainers:
Brush them with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. We
recommend using a gel-type toothpast, one you can see through.
This type of toothpaste has less or no abrasive material that
will scratch your orthodontic retainer.
2) If they
get grungy with mineral deposits, soak them in white vinegar for 10-15
minutes and then brush as usual. Be sure that you've rinsed
off all the vinegar before putting them in your mouth, or you will be
in for a big taste surprise.
3) A great cleaner for
your retainers (as long as there aren't any solder joints on the wire
retainer) is Retainer Brite. This is a fizzing tablet cleaner
that is available through Essix at www.RetainerBrite.com.
We have found this retainer cleaner to be an excellent
addition to brushing your orthodontic retainer and recommend it
regularly to our patients.
Keep retainers away from heat. The plastic material
retainers are made from will distort when exposed to extreme heat.
Keep your retainers away from the following:
a) extremely hot water - if you can't drink it comfortably,
your retainer shouldn't be in it
b) the dashboard of a car - direct sunlight can get hot
enough to distort the retainer
c) the microwave oven - yes, it has happened. Keep
the retainer out of the microwave
d) the dishwasher - the water in a dishwasher is just too hot
e) the washer and dryer - again, this has happened.
them out of your pocket before the laundry gets done.
Keep them away from pets, especially dogs and cats.
If you have these pets, you know what they like to do when
you pick them up - lick your face and mouth. Since your
orthodontic retainers are in your mouth, they smell just like you.
And that smell is just too enticing for your pet to resist.
Keep them in your retainer case when they aren't in your
5) Don't put them where other
things can be set on top of them. This is most common for
school-aged children who use a backpack. Put your retainer in
the case you've been given before putting them in your backpack.
Don't put them in your pocket. When you place your
retainer in your pocket, they will most likely get squished when you
sit down. Even if you put them in your front pocket, the
pressure placed on them when you sit down will bend or disort them.
is a short video on retainer care given by Connie, my most experienced
RDA orthodontic assistant:
As you can see, caring
for your orthodontic retainer is quite easy. When you take
care of it, it will take care of you.
And remember, since you have now
from orthodontic treatment, you don't want to go to back to remedial
school (back into orthodontic treatment). Wearing your
orthodontic retainer will keep your
teeth as straight as possible, and allow you to have a beautiful smile
for a life-time.
call our office at (818)
242-1173 if you have any additional questions.
And if you know anyone in
the Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta, La Canada, Pasadena or North Los
Angeles area who is looking for an orthodontist, please let them know
about Braces By Bergh.
They can get more information about
our office by visiting our website at www.BracesByBergh.com.
Dr. Brian Bergh
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