Maintain the Alignment of Your Teeth
An orthodontic retainer is designed to hold your teeth in place while they adjust to their new alignment or work to one or two teeth at a time. Most patients wear a retainer following braces or Invisalign® treatment. When you visit Nalchajian Orthodontics, Dr. Greg Nalchajian and Dr. Nicole Nalchajian will develop a customized plan for your orthodontic care, which may include retainers at one or several stages of treatment.
We provide custom-fitted retainers at our offices in Fresno, CA, and Clovis, CA. Contact Nalchajian Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with our talented orthodontists and to see if retainers are a great fit for your treatment plan—and your smile!
How Do Retainers Work?
Orthodontic retainers hold your teeth in their new positions to keep them from shifting back into their old positions. Retainers are often recommended following any type of teeth straightening treatment, such as braces or Invisalign. Retainers can also be used as a teeth straightening treatment themselves when 1 or 2 teeth require realignment and a full set of braces is not necessary to correct the problem.
Digital Impressions for Retainers
Because each retainer requires an impression, your retainer is custom-made and designed specifically to fit your mouth. At Nalchajian Orthodontics, we create these fitted retainers by using advanced 3D scanning and digital impression technology to capture highly accurate digital images of your teeth and jaws. Digital impressions have numerous benefits over traditional molds, such as:
- More detailed and accurate than putty molds, which are subject to defects if a wrong move is made while the impression is being created
- More comfortable than putty molds, as the camera is much smaller than large, bulky putty trays
- One scan takes only a few moments to complete
- Your orthodontist can easily and quickly share your digital scans with other members of your care team, whereas a putty impression must be manually delivered
How Do Digital Impressions Work?
The 3D scanner is a small hand-held wand that digitally captures the structure of your teeth and gums. When we need an impression of your teeth, we can simply hold the wand in your mouth to take scans of your teeth. After scanning your mouth with this radiation-free wand, the images are uploaded into our computer and we use them to create a 3D model of your teeth. This model then helps us fabricate a retainer that will fit over the 3D model.
Our patients enjoy this method of taking impressions because it is much faster than taking traditional impressions, which can require multiple attempts to get an accurate result. We have also found scanning to be much easier for our younger patients than traditional impressions.
We provide digital impression services to our patients at no additional cost. We are always striving to make your orthodontic treatment as simple and comfortable as possible.
Caring for Your Retainer
It is important to care for your retainer properly to stay on top of your orthodontic treatment and ensure the appliance functions optimally. Please keep the following care tips in mind:
- Your retainer should always be in its case when not in use. This prevents it from getting damaged.
- Brush your retainer whenever you brush your teeth. Use an extra soft toothbrush with a gentle toothpaste, or a small amount of liquid soap (with a different toothbrush).
- Disinfect your retainer on a regular basis by using a denture cleaner or retainer cleaner with something like peracetic acid or another antimicrobial agent with warm water.
- Never put your retainer in the dishwasher. Harsh chemicals and hot water will damage the appliance.
Failure to care for your retainer can result in unnecessary and costly replacements and may lengthen your orthodontic treatment.
What to Do if You Lose or Damage Your Retainer
Losing or breaking your retainer can feel stressful, but we’re here to help! If something happens to your retainer, it is not considered an orthodontic emergency. However, you should contact your orthodontist right away.
If we have taken recent scans of your teeth, we can fabricate a new retainer quickly. Otherwise, you will need to come into the office for new digital scans. If your retainer is broken, do not attempt to glue it together. If it is broken into several pieces or there is a sharp piece that makes it uncomfortable to wear, leave it out. In some cases, you can wear a cracked retainer as long as the crack has not fully split the retainer.
Whether you crack your retainer slightly, break a piece off, or lose it, contact Nalchajian Orthodontics as soon as you can. We will let you know the next steps to take.
Retainers in Fresno and Clovis, CA
Retainers are often a part of the orthodontic journey for kids, teens, and adults. They are important appliances that keep your smile looking beautiful following treatment. If you are interested in learning if retainers are the right solution for your orthodontic care, contact our practice to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greg Nalchajian or Dr. Nicole Nalchajian. Our team looks forward to caring for you at one of our offices in Fresno, CA, or Clovis, CA.
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Your Family-Friendly Orthodontic Experts
We look forward to caring for you and your family at Nalchajian Orthodontics. Schedule an appointment today to start your journey to a beautiful, healthier smile!