After you’ve spent many months in braces, the last thing you want is for your teeth to revert to their previous positions that left you with an unsightly smile. Unfortunately, your teeth are inclined to shift back to those spots, especially in the first few months after your active orthodontic treatment has been completed. In order to prevent such a relapse, you should wear your orthodontic retainer as directed by our orthodontist.
A conventional orthodontic retainer is a removable device made of plastic and wire that slides over the teeth and sits against the arch of the mouth in order to stabilize the smile after the braces are removed. Some patients may be good candidates for a clear plastic tray that is less intrusive on the smile’s appearance. It may also be possible for the patient to get a permanent retainer bonded on the rear side of the teeth, although this can present some challenges to dental hygiene.
When you first receive your retainer, our orthodontist likely will instruct you to wear it at all times, except for when you are eating or performing your oral hygiene routine.
After several months (in most cases), our orthodontist will release you from 24-hour wear of your retainer but will still recommend that you wear it overnight for some time. Some patients eventually may be able to reduce retainer wear to 3-5 nights/week, while those who had more complex cases initially may be advised to continue to wear the retainer nightly.
Patients should be sure to take good care of their retainer so they don’t have to replace the device. Keep it in its case when it’s not in your mouth and refrain from eating while you are wearing it. Check in with your provider about any other specific instructions for retainer care.
Your retainer is an important tool in helping to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment, so you must wear it as instructed in order to keep your smile as straight as possible.
Contact our office today to set up a consultation with our professional team to see if orthodontic treatment is right for you.