The Importance Of Wearing A Retainer

wearing a retainer

When you wear braces or Invisalign to help straighten your teeth, improve your smile and confidence, the last thing you may be thinking of is wearing a retainer. 

You will be ecstatic with the results. The smile you have always wanted, those perfectly straight teeth, but to maintain this well into the future, you must wear your retainer.

Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in place following extensive dental treatment. Our teeth move naturally over time, and immediately after braces, they are more prone to return to their original positions.

It is not a rapid movement but occurs over a long period. Retainers help prevent this from occurring and maintain your smile.

The Retainer Treatment Period

The period immediately following the use of braces, the first 3-6 months are pivotal. Braces have moved your teeth considerably and the muscles and bone structure must get used to this new change. For this reason, retainers are required to be worn for most of the day over this period.

Up to 22 hours is recommended and retainers should only be removed for eating and cleaning your teeth.

Following this, retainers should be worn at night for up to a year. It is often recommended to wear retainers indefinitely 3 to 4 nights a week. 

But what do your retainers look like?

If you have decided to go for Invisalign treatment, then you will hardly notice the difference. Simply the retainers will no longer change.

For those who have had braces two types of retainers are most common. One is removable, the other is not. 

Removable retainers:

You will receive clear retainers that mimic the final position of your teeth. It’s important to keep these safe and clean. 

Bacteria can build up in retainers if they are not washed and stored correctly.

These retainers are removable and are quite common for those who no longer wish to have fixed devices in their mouth.

Fixed retainer:

Fixed retainers are a combination of wire and a cement-like substance attached to the teeth at the front of your mouth. These are semi-permanent and stay in place for years or months.

Which should you choose?

The retainers you receive will depend both on your dentists’ opinion and what you wish to have yourself. Many adults prefer removable retainers due to convenience, though others choose the fixed retainer.

Chat to your dentist at Orthodental to find out your options and what will work best for your treatment.

What happens if you do not wear your retainer?

By not using your retainer for the recommended period, you can do serious harm to your treatment which will cost you money, time and most importantly that smile you worked so hard for.

Many adults that did not listen to this advice as teens are now undergoing the second period of treatment to fix their smiles. As a teen, it can often seem like a long and unnecessary process to maintain your teeth, but it shows just how important it is.

The use of a retainer all comes down to creating habits around wearing, eating and cleaning once this is developed it is a very easy process to follow.

Get in touch:

Get in touch with us here at Orthodental for any questions you may have regarding your dental treatment, the use of braces and retainers or simply to book an appointment.