2815 Princess Street
Kingston, ON  K7P 2X2
(613) 634-2216

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An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but not the orthodontist. Apples should be avoided, as their hard texture may cause problems with your braces.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but not the orthodontist. Apples should be avoided, as their hard texture may cause problems with your braces.

Retainers

When we remove your braces, you will transition to the retention stage of your treatment. In many ways the retention phase is the most important part of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and clean your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Retainer Rules

  1. Wear it! It is important that you wear your retainer as instructed. It may feel strange at first, but if you stick with it, you will become accustomed to wearing it in a very short time. Any difficulty speaking will clear up in a few days. Your retainer is our only means of preserving the nice results we have accomplished.
  2. Keep your retainer clean by cleaning it at the same time your brush your teeth (after each meal or snack).
  3. Don’t lose it! Never wrap it in a napkin or place it in your pocket or where a pet can reach it (they love retainers!) The best place for your retainer is in your mouth or in its case.

Essix Retainers

After your braces are removed we usually prescribe Essix PLUS retainers. These retainers are composed of a clear acrylic material and fit snugly over all of your teeth, even covering the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They hold the teeth very firmly in place and do not need adjustment.  Many patients prefer the Essix retainers due to aesthetic reasons, but they must be handled carefully. They should be cleaned daily with a brush and hand or dish soap. Patients with Essix retainers should also make sure to not put their retainer in hot or boiling water or expose it to excess heat. The retainer will become distorted and no longer fit properly.  Typically we will have you wear it for 24 hours per day for at least 2 weeks, then 12 hours per day for at least 2 more weeks before wearing it at night at least 8 hours per day.  Some people may need more hours depending on how stable their teeth feel.

Vivera Retainers

Vivera retainers are also made out of a clear acrylic material and fit snugly over the teeth. They look like the Essex retainers but made from a digital scan and fabricated by Invisalign. We will usually prescribe these if we are replacing a retainer that has been lost or broken.  One set of Vivera retainers will usually last at least four years and there are four Vivera retainers in total. They also must be cleaned daily with liquid dish or hand soap. Only cool water should be used and they should not be exposed to heat.

Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers have a wire across the front of the teeth to trap them in the acrylic and prevent tooth movement. They also have wire clasps to hold them in the mouth. They must be pushed fully down against the teeth to prevent tooth movement. Like other retainers they should be cleaned daily with liquid dish or hand soap and cool water only. They must not be exposed to heat.

Bonded (“Permanent”) Retainers

We do not use bonded or fixed retainers.  The term permanent is misleading.The concerns that I have with bonded retainers are listed below.