Straightening your teeth can make a tremendous difference to the way you smile, and most importantly, how confident you feel in yourself. Orthodontic treatment is an effective way of realigning your teeth for improved aesthetics. But simply having braces isn’t enough; after orthodontic treatment, it is essential that patients wear retainers in order to maintain their new smiles.
In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important for patients who have undergone orthodontic treatment to wear retainers, how long they should be worn, and what types of retainers are available.
Why Retainers are Necessary
After dedicating significant time and effort to a successful orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, it is essential that you wear your retainer to preserve the results. Retainers not only protect your investment but also guarantee that all of the hard work put in does not go to waste.
Without a retainer, all the progress made during orthodontic treatment can be undone as teeth shift back into their original positions. The amount of time that a retainer should be worn varies depending on the type of treatment done, but retainers are generally recommended to be worn full-time for 6 months following the completion of orthodontic treatment. After this period, retainers can usually then be worn at night for maintenance of alignment.
How Often to Wear a Retainer
Achieving a straighter, healthier smile is only half the battle – you must also maintain it. Retainers are essential for preserving your beautiful results post-orthodontic treatment and preventing any of your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
It is recommended that patients wear their retainer for as long as their orthodontic provider advises, which could range from a few months to several years. During the first couple of months after having braces removed, it is important to wear your retainer for at least 20 hours per day. This will ensure that teeth stay in their new position and do not shift back into place. After this initial period, it is usually advised that patients wear their retainer less frequently – typically at night or during any other time when teeth are not being used.
Types of Retainers
After having braces, your orthodontist will likely recommend wearing a retainer to help uphold the alignment of your teeth. The most common type of retainer is a removable one, and it is typically made from an acrylic material.
This type of retainer can be taken out for eating and brushing your teeth, but should otherwise be worn most of the time in order to maintain proper alignment. Other types of retainers include fixed retainers, which are attached to the back of your upper or lower teeth, clear aligners, which are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth, and lingual retainers, which are attached to the back of your teeth on the inside (tongue) side.
Do You Want To Get a Great Smile In The Future? Choose The Right Type of Braces For You Here, and Start The Treatment That You Need.