The big moment is almost here – the day you get your braces off or are finished wearing Invisalign aligners! You’re probably thinking the work you put in to get those straight teeth is finally done. Well, not quite. One of the most critical parts of your treatment is just getting started, making sure that smile lasts a lifetime.
Dr. Kim Travers, from Travers Orthodontics, wants to ensure that you protect the investment you’ve made in your smile. The following explains what a retainer is and why orthodontic retention is so necessary.
What is a Retainer?
A retainer is a small, clear plastic appliance with a stainless steel wire that is custom-molded to your teeth. You will wear the retainer after your braces or Invisalign treatment to keep your newly moved teeth in place. Your retainer may be fixed, meaning it is bonded to the inside of your teeth, or it may be a removable retainer. Either way, it is barely visible.
Is a Retainer Really Necessary?
Retention is a critical part of your treatment because you don’t want your teeth to move back to their original positions. During your orthodontic treatment, the gentle force of your braces or Invisalign trays is what shifted your teeth to their new position. Once your treatment is complete, the retainer is what keeps your new smile in place.
How Long Will I Have to Wear the Retainer?
For the first few months after your treatment, you will wear your retainer all of the time because the bone surrounding your teeth will be soft, and your gums and muscles will continue to change, making it easier for your teeth to move out of place. Once the bone has had time to harden, you will only have to wear the retainer at night. Even after many years of orthodontic treatment, your teeth can shift, so ideally, patients should always wear their retainer at night.
How to Care for Your Retainer
Your retainer needs to be cleaned regularly to remove food particles and bacteria, just like your teeth. After eating or drinking, you should remove the retainer and rinse it with warm water. At the end of the day, you should use a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush away any debris and bacteria.
Also, you should never clean or soak your retainer is very warm or hot water because this can cause the plastic to warp and change shape. If you lose or break your retainer, you should contact your orthodontist immediately to get a new retainer before your teeth start shifting.
Contact Your Irving Orthodontist Today!
Please contact us if you have any questions about your retainer or orthodontic retention. Our team will be happy to assist you.
If you are looking for premier North Texas Treatment, call us at 972-910-8202 to schedule a consultation or make an appointment online. We would love to help you straighten your smile and keep it for a lifetime.