Our patients are always so excited as they near the end of their orthodontic treatment. There is so much to look forward to depending on the type of braces they’ve had. Whether it’s their brand new smile, being able to floss easier or not having to think about removing their clear aligners before they eat, there is much to celebrate. Yet, we like to prepare our patients ahead of time to let them know their treatment may not be completely done even though the braces are off. Read more to find out the next step in orthodontic treatment.
Why Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?
Although each patient is different, most of the time, we recommend that you wear a retainer after your braces come off. A common appliance made of a strong plastic and customized to fit your teeth, retainers are used to help keep your teeth in their desired position. Even though it took many months to get them into place, they can shift out of place without the support of a retainer and easily undo the work and time that went into getting you a beautiful smile. Depending on your particular case, typically we recommend that the retainer is worn 24 hours a day for a certain period of time, after which they can be worn just when sleeping.
There are also two different types of retainers, fixed and removable. Fixed or permanent retainers help the gums and bone tissue align to the corrected bite created by braces. Removable retainers can be put in and taken out of the mouth by the patient. The point here is to understand that especially for children and teens, there are shifts that can occur after braces come off and we want to keep those as minimal as possible. No one wants to have to wear braces for a second time! Let’s keep using those retainers as directed.
If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment and retainer wear, please feel free to call our office. We will be happy to answer your questions.