Straight teeth can be achieved with braces, but how can they be maintained once they are removed?
If you want to maintain the position of your straightened teeth, you must wear your retainer for at least 12 hours per day for the first eight weeks following the completion of your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have been moved to a new position, diligent wear is crucial as the teeth are the least stable during this time. Following the completion of eight weeks of wearing your retainers for half of each day, with the approval of your 60465 orthodontist, you can begin wearing them at night only.
There are several types of retainers that may be recommended for you:
- Clear Retainers: This is a clear plastic removable retainer similar to teeth whitening trays. They are invisible and less likely to affect your speech than traditional retainers.
- Traditional Retainers: These are acrylic or wire-based removable appliances that are fitted to the roof of your mouth; the wire runs along the outside of your teeth to keep them in their proper position. Although this is a more durable option, it is also more noticeable than other options.
- Permanent Retainer: This type of retainer consists of a wire that is bonded to the inside of your front teeth (usually the lower ones) to hold them in place. Patients at high risk of relapse or those who are likely to ignore instructions for wearing removable retainers are often prescribed permanent retainers.
In addition to keeping your teeth straight, retainers provide many other benefits. Aligned teeth are easier to clean. They are less likely to develop tooth decay because plaque is less likely to accumulate. Certain types of retainers can help improve breathing and snoring. Children can wear retainers to help them adjust the placement of their tongues, which can reduce speech impediments. Orthodontists help treat many of these problems.
Maintain your retainers’ cleanliness by brushing them every day with toothpaste. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the entire area. Ensure that the wires aren’t bent out of place when handling them.
Take care of your retainer, and it will take care of you when you complete your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase begins when you remove your braces. Your retainer is considered the maintenance phase of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, you do need to wear your retainer forever. During the first few months, you will need to wear it 24/7. Your teeth will then be locked into place, but you’ll still need to wear your retainer at night. This will make sure that your teeth don’t shift back to their natural positions, which is known as “relapse.” Your retainer should be one of the most important components of your orthodontic treatment plan.
We invite you to contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office for more information about retainers or to schedule an appointment.