If you think your journey is over once your braces come off, think again. The next phase to maintain those perfect teeth is wearing a retainer. Having to wear another appliance after you’ve just had your braces removed may be a little annoying, but it serves a valuable purpose – preventing your teeth from shifting back. If you want to keep that new beautiful smile looking exactly as it is now, you’ll need to wear one. Find out everything you need to know about the retainer including how long you’ll need to wear it, below.
Do I Really Need to Wear My Retainer?
When aligning your teeth, the braces loosen the forces between your teeth, gums, fibers, and ligaments. So once the treatment is complete, it can take some time for the jawbone and fibrous attachments to become tightly anchored around your teeth again. Until then, the retainer prevents your teeth from relapsing and shifting back into their original position.
How Long Do You Need to Wear One?
That depends since everyone is different. The first year is always the most important as the chances of your teeth drifting out of alignment is higher. In most cases, you will need to wear the retainer full time for the next four to six months to prevent any movement. After the bone hardens around the teeth, the shifting subsides, and your orthodontist will create a retention plan depending on the type of correction, your progress, and your age. In most cases, patients will be able to gradually reduce the amount of time that they wear their retainer, while others may be required to wear it indefinitely.
Do I Need One Even After Invisalign?
Invisalign might move your teeth differently than braces do but the result is still the same. Regardless if you had Invisalign or traditional braces, you will need a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting.
What Happens If I Stop Wearing It?
For one, you’ll not only be throwing your money down the drain, but you’ll also lose all the progress you’ve made during your treatment. Wearing a retainer ensures that your new straight teeth will remain in that position for a lifetime. If you have an issue with your retainer, talk to your dentist, there are different types of retainers available for you to try.
Wearing a retainer is important for maintaining a straight aligned smile. If you are experiencing any problems with yours or would simply like to learn more about other options, contact us at the Teal Umbrella.