Congratulations—you did it! After years of orthodontic work and regular adjustments, you finally have a beautiful, straight smile. But just because your braces are off doesn’t mean the treatment process is complete. To ensure that your teeth remain in alignment, it’s essential to wear a retainer.
If this is your first time wearing a retainer, you might wonder why they’re important and what type suits you best. This blog will explain why wearing a retainer is vital and the different types available. Plus, we’ll give you some important tips on caring for your retainer so that it lasts for long. Read on to learn more about the importance of wearing retainers!
Importance of Wearing Retainers After Braces
The primary purpose of a retainer is to help keep your teeth in their new, straightened positions. Without it, your teeth will move back to their original position over time. This can cause a relapse of your orthodontic treatment and may even require further treatment.
Retainers come in different varieties, depending on your individual needs. There are removable retainers that you can take out and put back quickly, and Permanent Retainers that don’t require any additional steps but may need to be adjusted periodically.
Taking care of your retainer is also essential—clean it regularly and take it out when participating in contact sports or other rigorous physical activities. Follow your orthodontist’s advice and wear it faithfully—you’ll soon find it’s an easy measure with a big payoff!
How Retainers Work to Keep Your Teeth Straight
Retainers are custom-made orthodontic appliances that are used to keep teeth in their corrected positions after orthodontic treatment. They work by applying gentle pressure to teeth and surrounding tissues, preventing them from shifting back to their original positions. This is especially important since teeth naturally start to move when your braces are removed. As long as you wear the retainer, you can keep your straight, healthy smile for years to come!
Wearing a retainer helps keep your lower and upper jaw in alignment. It also reduces the likelihood of other problems such as overbite and underbite from developing. It also helps maintain healthy gums by preventing plaque build-up on your teeth, which can lead to cavities or gum disease.
Finally, wearing a retainer is important because it allows you to enjoy the progress that has been made with your orthodontic treatment and ensures that you don’t have to go through the entire treatment process again!
The Different Types of Retainers: Removable vs Fixed Retainers
Don’t worry, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to retainers—there are plenty of different types available. Let’s look at the two main kinds: removable and fixed retainers.
Patients who desire the freedom to remove their retainer as needed should consider removable retainers, however they do need to be properly maintained and cared for to remain in good condition. While you can take them out to eat, brush, and floss, you must wear them for at least 20 to 22 hours every day. Patients must take care to periodically clean their retainer and store it safely while not in use.
Fixed retainers are typically made of a thin wire that is attached to the back of the teeth with a dental adhesive. These types of retainers require less effort on your part as they don’t need to be removed for cleaning or taking out for special occasions—though be warned, this means that there’s also less opportunity to clean them properly!
Benefits of Wearing Retainers: What to Expect
Do you know the benefits of wearing retainers? Well, if you’re not familiar, you’re in the right place. Retainers are an integral part of your orthodontic treatment, and they’re important for maintaining the results of your braces or Clear Aligners.
The primary benefit of wearing a retainer is that it helps keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions once the braces or Clear Aligner treatment is complete. This helps guarantees a long life for your beautiful new smile. Retainers also help keep your bite and bite pressure even. This increases your comfort and helps avoid any health issues associated with misaligned teeth such as TMJ disorder or grinding of the teeth.
Retainers come with many other benefits too:
- Improved oral hygiene: Wearing a retainer can make it easier to brush and floss around all your teeth, allowing for better oral hygiene overall.
- Improved speech: Retainers can help fix and prevent speech issues caused by misaligned teeth so that you can speak clearly without any lisps or lingual disintegration.
- Improved confidence: When you feel good about the way you look, it will give you more confidence in social settings and improve your outlook on life.
Developing a Retainer Wearing Schedule
At Orthodontic Experts, we understand how important it is to develop a retainer wearing schedule that works for you. We recommend wearing your retainer at least 12 hours every day for the first eight weeks after completing your treatment. This will help ensure that your teeth stay in their proper positions and avoid any unwanted shifting.
After the first eight weeks, we suggest wearing your retainer nightly for at least a year. Once you have successfully worn your retainer nightly for over a year, you can gradually shift your wear to every other night or so.
To keep your teeth and jaw in their ideal position, it’s important to adhere to a regular retainer wearing schedule. So why is this so important? Here’s why:
Prevention of Tooth Decay
Regularly wearing retainers can help prevent plaque buildup, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The retainers act as a barrier between your teeth and food particles or bacteria while you eat.
Maintenance of Structural Alignment
Retainers can also help keep your teeth and jaw aligned, so that you don’t end up with any dental issues down the line. If you don’t wear your retainer regularly, the alignment of your teeth could start to change and it might be harder to fix in the future.
Finally, wearing retainers consistently can save you time and money in the long run. The less you have to visit the dentist for structural alignment issues, the better! So be sure to develop a retainer-wearing schedule that works for you so that you get all the benefits of wearing retainers in the long term!
Proper Care and Maintenance of Your Retainers
You might not know that taking proper care and maintenance of your retainers is incredibly important for their longevity. Just like any other appliance you use in your daily routine, retainers need to be kept in tip-top shape for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Your retainers should be cleaned at least once a day regularly to remove plaque, bacteria, and other particles from them. Make sure you use the right solution for cleaning them; typically this includes antiseptic or germicidal solutions such as denture cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda.
It’s also important to store your retainers properly when you’re not wearing them. You should keep your retainers away from heat sources like radiators or direct sunlight as well as away from pet’s mouths and small children. Finally, make sure you keep the retainer case closed when they are not being used!
What Happens If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer
As soon as your braces come off, you may be tempted to celebrate the fact that you are free from the wires and brackets that have been a part of your life for several months or years. However, this is exactly when you need to start thinking about wearing retainers.
At Orthodontic Experts, we have seen first-hand the negative consequences of not wearing a retainer. It is important to know that not wearing your retainer for a month can cause serious problems. In fact, it can take years for your teeth to fully settle into their new positions. This is why it is recommended to wear your retainer for at least a year after your braces have been removed.
So, how long can you go without retainers? The answer is simple – you should never go without them. This is because not wearing retainers before and after can have serious consequences. Your teeth will start to move back to their original positions which will alter your bite and the overall appearance of your teeth. This can result in discomfort, jaw pain, and even tooth decay as it becomes more difficult to keep teeth clean and healthy.
Don’t let your orthodontist’s hard work go to waste – Get affordable retainers now!
Wearing a retainer is an essential post-orthodontic treatment that is often overlooked. It can help keep your teeth in the proper position, reduce the risk of relapse, and help protect your investment in orthodontic treatment. Patient compliance is important when wearing your retainer and will be worth it in the long run. A retainer can help you maintain your teeth’s alignment, and it’s a small price to pay for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
At Orthodontic Experts, we provide the best orthodontic services to ensure that your teeth stay in their correct positions after your braces are removed. Don’t let your teeth shift back to their original positions and undo all the hard work you and your orthodontist have put in. Book an appointment with Orthodontic Experts today and get fitted for a retainer. Trust us, your future self will thank you for it!