Life After Braces: FAQs About Retainers

retainers after braces faq soleil orthodonticsMany braces wearers dread their retainer. This concern is a little baffling when you consider the amount of time and effort put into wearing metal braces or Invisalign. Retainers, after all, don’t require nearly as much dedication or attention. But we understand retainers can feel like one more obligation after a year or more of orthodontic treatment. To ease your mind about the demands of retainers, it’s time for an FAQ.

Do I have to wear a retainer after my braces?

Yes. That’s the only answer. Everyone who wears braces must wear a retainer.

Why is a retainer so important?

Braces work because teeth are moveable, shifting around as you grow and making room for new teeth, responding to changes in your mouth and jaw. When orthodontic treatment is finished, relapse is a possibility and teeth could go back to wherever they were before – or look worse. Leave your retainer out and, after a few weeks or months, your teeth may shift so much your retainer will no longer fit and you’ll have to get fitted for a new one.

Do I have to wear a retainer all day?

For the first few months after your braces come off or you’ve finished Invisalign, your orthodontist will likely recommend that you wear your retainer around the clock. After these few months, though, you will only need to wear the appliance at night. Your teeth will be free! And while you sleep, you’ll be reinforcing their new positions.

I’m an adult – do I really need to wear a retainer?

Adults who have invested the time, expense, and energy into straightening their smile with orthodontics must wear a retainer too, no matter what age you are. Failure to wear your retainer will result in teeth shifting back to their original positions. All the hard work you put in will be for nothing.

What will happen if I don’t wear my retainer?

One night of not wearing your retainer because you forgot or because you traveled and accidentally left it at home will not destroy the work you did on your teeth. Go too many days without your appliance, though, and things will begin to shift. If you don’t wear your retainer at all, you may need to redo your orthodontic treatment from the start.

What kind of retainers are available?

Retainers come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, just like braces. Some people embrace a colorful retainer, others prefer a discreet appliance that blends into their mouth as much as possible. Your orthodontist will help you determine which retainer suits your lifestyle best. There are removable retainers, fixed retainers, clear plastic retainers, plastic and metal retainers, and colors galore.

Get Retainers at Orthodontist Near Me in Woodinville, WA

Your orthodontist understands that your retainer can be inconvenient, annoying, and just one more thing to do when you thought you were done with orthodontics. But the demands of retainers are minimal, and we do our best to help our patients understand and accept this part of treatment. Ready to learn more? Contact your orthodontist Dr. Soleil at Soleil Orthodontics today.

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