I saw a great tweet recently where a slightly frustrated orthodontist commented that ‘top tip – if you are coming for a retainer check appointment, bring your retainers with you. It’s not really possible to check them if they’re still in your bathroom‘ So what is a retainer check appointment and why is it important to bring your retainers with you?
Once you have finished orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear retainers to keep your teeth straight and to stop them from relapsing. Your retainers will either be fixed or removable or if you are an adult patient, often both.
The purpose of the retainer check appointment is to make sure your retainers are doing their job and keeping your teeth perfectly straight. It’s also to make sure you are wearing them as you have been asked to and, in the case of fixed retainers, to make sure the retainer hasn’t broken and that you are maintaining a great level of oral hygiene as it’s a lot more difficult to clean under and around a fixed retainer.
The appointment will only take a few minutes and your orthodontist will examine your retainers to make sure they are still in great condition, ask you about how you are getting on with them and will make sure they still fit correctly.
Without your removable retainers, your orthodontist will be unable to check them which means you are missing out on the key part of the appointment. If you find you have forgotten your retainers whilst travelling to the appointment, think about turning back and collecting them. If this means you might be late for the appointment, just give your practice a call and let them know. In many cases, it will be preferable to arrive late with your retainers rather than early without them! If they cannot accommodate you running late, book a new appointment and make sure you remember to take your retainers with you next time.