Removable appliances, unlike conventional braces, are used to retain teeth in their corrected positions and in some cases, to influence growth of the jaws in order to affect changes in facial structure. In addition, they are often used before and in conjunction with fixed appliances.
Removable appliances are not utilized to treat all orthodontic problems. It takes skill, and experience to recognize conditions that will respond favorably to removable appliances. Timing of such therapy also is very important.
Because removable appliances can easily be taken out by the patient, there may be a tendency not to wear them as we have prescribed. This means your teeth, jaws and muscles may move back toward their original positions.
Removable appliances require care. Although you may notice an effect on eating and speaking along with an increase in the flow of saliva, you will eventually adjust to the appliance.
The positioner is a custom-made mouthpiece that is utilized to make final and minor adjustments to the bite. This appliance is made from impressions of your teeth which are sent off to a special laboratory. When Dr. McClimans feels you are ready, the braces will be removed and the positioner placed. You will wear a positioner as your initial retention appliance. In six weeks, after final records are taken, you will receive upper and lower retainers to wear long-term.
Initially, the positioner should be worn four hours per day and slept in at night. After one week, you will be checked, and if all is well, the wearing time will be reduced to two hours per day along with regular nighttime wear. During the day, the positioner should be worn for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, followed by a period of rest. While the positioner is in place, the exercise by clenching, holding, and relaxing the teeth. If the positioner falls out at night, get in more wearing time during the day. Some people find it helpful to suggest to themselves before going to sleep that they will keep the positioner in all night.
When the positioner is removed in the morning, rinse with water to remove saliva and store in the box provided. From time to time, the positioner should be brushed with a toothbrush and toothpaste to assure good oral hygiene. If you experience gum irritation, please contact our office so that you can be seen and the positioner adjusted. These six weeks of positioner wear are critical to a stable orthodontic result. Teeth can move quickly without adequate retention force; please follow instructions as prescribed.
Retainers are utilized, generally after the positioner. They are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth’ positions. You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise, your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing your braces will be lost.
Our Orthodontist will determine how long you need to wear your retainer. Time varies with each patient. Some people may need retainers for an extended period of time in order to eliminate the shifting of the teeth. In some cases, permanent retention may be necessary.
The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!
Remember, wear them in your mouth, not in your pocket. Retainers work when you follow our instructions.
Clean your retainers! After meals, clean all parts of the retainer with a brush, dishwashing soap, and water. Use of dish soap will prevent scratching of the polished plastic, which can occur with the use of toothpaste.
Handle your retainers with care. Retainers are easy to lose. If you take your retainers out, always place them in your retainer case for safety. Click here for more information on caring for your retainers. Find more information here