Importance of Orthodontic Retainers

Orthodontic Retainers

Have you spent the majority of your life wanting to have straight teeth, or do you or your child finally have a nicely aligned smile after braces? Whatever the case, having straight teeth takes time, care, and an investment.

Once those braces come off, you can finally brush and floss normally, and eat whatever foods you’d like! You are finally free to enjoy your new smile. The difficult journey of hiding your teeth is no longer an issue. What a relief! It’s time to wear that new, beautiful smile proudly for all to see.

Why Do I Need A Retainer?

Your teeth always have the potential to move, but the first couple of years after braces can lead to a lot more shifting and movement. If you had your braces on for two years, then two years without braces and structure could regress your teeth back to square one. This is where the importance of a retainer comes in to play.

Retainers hold teeth in their new positions after braces. The bone and tissue around teeth need time to stabilize and set. Retainers keep the teeth still in order for stabilization to occur.

How Long Do I Need A Retainer?

Your orthodontist will develop a plan on how long you should wear a retainer. Some people need to wear their retainer all day for an allotted amount of time, and then they can switch to wearing the retainer just at night once instructed. Because your teeth can shift back to their pre-braces space when you first get your braces off, it is likely that you will be required to wear your retainer nearly 24/7 for anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years. This is a small price to pay to keep those teeth straight.

What Are Retainers Like?

There are different kinds of retainers. Some are removable, while others are permanent (fixed). Some are worn all day, while others are just worn while you sleep at night. Ask your dentist what the best option is for you or your child. There are pros and cons that accompany each type of retainer, and one may fit your lifestyle better than another.

Not interested in having or paying for more orthodontic treatments down the road? For the best results following braces, properly follow the directions given by your orthodontist. You should also continue to brush and floss regularly.

If you have any questions about braces, retainers, or other orthodontic treatments, give us a call! We would be happy to chat about your options and how they may benefit you. As your Nashville Orthodontist, we fully understand that orthodontic care is an investment, and we want to help make that investment one in a lifetime with the proper attention and treatment. Request an appointment easily online today!