Find out why it’s so important to wear your retainer after orthodontic treatment in Portage.
If you’ve just gotten your braces off then congratulations! You probably couldn’t be happier to have a straighter smile and to finally say goodbye to your braces; however, you may be a little less than thrilled to find out you have to wear your retainer, but this is a crucial step to maintaining that beautiful new smile that you worked so hard to get.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve worn traditional metal braces or Invisalign, when anyone opts for orthodontic treatment they must wear retainers even after their treatment is over. The purpose of wearing braces is to shift your teeth into their proper alignment; however, as we age our teeth begin to move forward and inward. This means that unless we have something like a retainer to keep teeth in place, they will most likely shift right back to their original position after your braces are removed.
That’s why we may recommend that you wear your retainers for at least 12 hours a day immediately after having your braces removed; however, this will depend on the severity of your dental condition, you age and whether we need the retainers to help finalize your smile’s alignment or just maintain it.
After about six months, patients can switch to only wearing their retainers at night. Wearing your braces while you are sleeping is vitally important to maintaining your straight smile and we recommend you do this every night for the next year.
After you’ve worn your retainer for a full year, we will most likely tell you that you only have to wear it for a few nights each week (on average, most patients wear their retainer about three to five times a week).
While some patients are surprised to hear that they need to wear their retainers forever, we promise that orthodontics isn’t suppose to feel like punishment. If you want to have a beautiful and consistently straight smile then you need to wear your retainer. Luckily, nighttime wear isn’t a big deal and most patients find it easy to adjust to wearing their retainers while they sleep.
However, retainers don’t last forever. This means that you will need to get your retainers replaced at some point. Most last anywhere from two to 10 years depending on how well you care for them. When you come in for your routine dental visit, your Portage orthodontist can tell you if it’s time to get a new one.
If you have any questions about your retainer or your oral health post-braces, call your Portage orthodontist today. Also, you’ll want to still see your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and exam to make sure your smile still looks its best. If it’s time to schedule your next visit with your Portage dentist, call our office today.