Why Your Retainer is Important

General-SmileIt can feel like a very momentous occasion when you finally get your braces taken off. When you have been wearing them for multiple years it can feel so freeing to finally say goodbye to them and to say hello to a straighter smile; however, there are still some things you need to do to help maintain those beautiful new results. This is when your Romeo orthodontist will recommend wearing your retainer.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is a removable oral appliance that is made from either metal wires or a translucent plastic that helps your teeth maintain their new position after orthodontic treatment.

Why do I need to wear my retainer?

After you get your braces taken off your Romeo orthodontist will recommend wearing your retainer each day. This is to help maintain the new shape of your smile and to keep teeth from shifting back after wearing braces.

How long will I need to wear my retainer? How often should I wear it?

This will vary depending on the patient; however, because we need to give the bone and tissue time to adjust to the shift in your teeth, we need to use a retainer to help maintain your new bite. If you don’t wear your retainer your teeth will slowly return to their original position. If you used braces to close gaps between your teeth expect to wear your retainer regularly for a bit longer.

However, on average we tell our patients that you will wear your retainer for as long as you wore your braces. Some patients may need to wear their retainer all the time for about six months and then switch to only wearing them at night, and some will only need to wear their retainers full-time for a couple weeks before switching to only nightly usage. If patients want to truly keep their new smiles, however, they will most likely need to wear their retainers for the rest of their lives.

How do I care for my retainer?

You should always take out your retainer before eating and brushing and flossing. You can clean your retainer by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and water and gently scrubbing it. Then be sure to brush your teeth after cleaning your retainer. Also, when you aren’t wearing your retainer it should stay in its box to prevent damage.

If you have any questions about your retainer or braces, or you just need to schedule a routine appointment with your Romeo orthodontist, then call our office today to schedule an appointment. We are here to give you the smile you deserve!