A Positioner® Appliance is a clear, pliable “mouth guard” style appliance that conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth.
The Positioner® Appliance is used to maintain a previous orthodontic result or to simply prevent undesirable movement of the teeth. Typically, patients wear a retainer full-time for three months following active orthodontic treatment. Thereafter patients wear retainers nightly and at home for nine additional months. Retainers will be worn during sleep hours indefinitely after the first year of treatment. In some circumstances, the appliance is also used to attain minor tooth alignment or minor closure of the bite. If used as a retention appliance, the Positioner® is worn for four hours during the day and all night. Retention appliances are typically worn full-time for one year following orthodontic therapy to allow for remodeling of the bones and gums and then nightly thereafter to maintain the orthodontic correction.
We encourage patients to clean the appliance with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If the appliance needs a deeper cleaning, anti-bacterial soap and warm water can often help, followed by a cleaning with toothpaste. Mouthwash should NOT be used and hot water should also be avoided to prevent distortion of the Positioner® material.
What to Expect
It will be essentially impossible to speak with the appliance in place and it will induce hyper-salivation when getting accustomed to the appliance. If the Positioner® Appliance shows signs of “wear and tear”, there is usually no cause for concern unless it breaks down completely.
Retention is as important as the treatment itself and is essential to the long-term maintenance of your new bite and smile.