4 Things to Know About Wearing a Retainer After Braces

retainers after braces soleil orthodonticsWhen your braces finally come off or when you finish that last tray of Invisalign, you may think, “Relief! Freedom!” Not so fast. Your orthodontic treatment isn’t over yet. Retainers are an essential part of the braces journey, and everyone who has braces must wear a retainer afterward. Here’s why.

1. Retainers Keep Your Teeth Straight

Half of your orthodontic journey is getting your teeth straight. The other half is keeping your teeth straight – and that’s where retainers come in. To maintain the results that your Woodinville orthodontist’s work made possible, you must wear retainers. These orthodontic appliances reinforce the new positions of your teeth, stabilize your bite while the bone and soft tissues adapt to the changes in tooth positioning, and prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

2. It Will Be an Easy Adjustment

If you were an Invisalign patient, wearing retainers will simply feel like an extension of your treatment. You take the appliances out to eat and to clean your teeth and pop them back in when done. It’s easy, convenient, and gets the job done.

If you had conventional brackets and wires, a retainer may be an adjustment, but you will love being able to “free” your teeth from any encumbrance when you need to and want to. Retainers need to stay in place as your orthodontist instructs, but you always have the option to take them out to get a little break, smile for a photo, or show off your newly aligned smile without any interruption.

3. You Have Options

There are two types of retainers – removable and fixed. Your orthodontist will discuss all options with you so, together, you can determine what kind of retainer is best for your lifestyle and comfort level.

A removable retainer is either clear – similar to Invisalign trays – or wire and plastic. The latter option covers the roof of the mouth or fits behind the lower front teeth while the wires hold it in place.

Fixed retainers are thin, custom-fitted wires that are bonded to the interior of the upper or lower teeth. They are more discreet but are in place for good and ensure that your teeth stay where they’re supposed to.

4. Retainers Are Worth the Effort

Braces aren’t forever, but retainers are. Right after your braces come off, your retainers will need to be worn most of the time. Your orthodontist will likely prescribe several months of wearing braces around the clock to prevent your teeth from relapsing and help the newly formed bone mature around the teeth. Eventually, you should be able to move to wearing the braces only while you sleep.

While this prospect of constant retainer wear may not be appealing, and you may feel like you’re sentenced to a lifetime of wearing something on your teeth even though you’re supposed to be done with braces, the reality is that it’s taken a long time to get your teeth in their new positions. Stabilizing your new smile also takes time. Don’t allow all your hard work go to waste.

Ready to start your orthodontic journey? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Soleil Roberts at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA. Contact us today.

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