The Importance Of Wearing Retainers

The Importance Of Wearing Retainers
Posted on 05/15/2018

The Importance Of Wearing Retainers

 Some orthodontic patients don’t have the patience for retainers, and we understand. After you have finally finished your seemingly never-ending stint with braces, the feeling of bare teeth and a new smile may seem wonderful - at least until your orthodontist says you will have to wear a retainer. The thought of carrying, cleaning, and wearing a contraption in your mouth may seem like additional torture, but we cannot stress enough the importance of wearing your retainer as directed following treatment. At Willowbrook Orthodontics, we want to make sure you have the least amount of stress with your retainers in order for your newfound smile to last for a long time. Continue reading below to see our tips on taking care of your retainer.

But Why Retainers?

Retainers are just as important as braces when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Patients will spend months or even years in braces, and if they do not wear their retainers after the braces are taken off, their teeth can begin shifting to their original positions in no time. The result is an imperfect smile and even another round of braces. It varies from person to person, but your teeth will continue to shift even after your braces are removed, and wearing a retainer helps prevent the movement. 

What Types Of Retainers Are There?

There are two primary types of retainers: bonded and removable. Bonded retainers are a fixed wire attached permanently to the back of your teeth, and you won’t have to worry about taking them out at all. Removable retainers come in two popular varieties: The well-known Hawley retainer is made of a metal wire and acrylic plastic. The wire goes across the front of your teeth, and the acrylic is molded to fit inside your mouth. Essix retainers are made of a clear molded plastic, and they look similar to Invisalign aligners. Your orthodontist will usually make the call when it comes to which retainer(s) they will assign to you. 

How Long Do I Have To Wear Them?

After your braces come off, you will be fitted for your retainers, and your orthodontist will have a treatment length and schedule that is best suited for you. You may be required to wear your retainers full-time (day and night) for six months or a year, then only at night for another few years. Others may only need to wear retainers full-time for a few week. In any case, the length and manner of your retainer treatment is ultimately up to your orthodontist.

How Do I Take Care Of My Retainers?

Your orthodontist will instruct you on retainer maintenance. In brief, retainers should be removed while eating, playing sports, and brushing teeth. Cleaning the retainers may be a bit of a hassle as well: Remove the retainers, then brush them under rap water using your toothbrush and some toothpaste. 

Lastly, the best thing you can do with your retainers is to keep them in your mouth, and be extra vigilant about not forgetting them when they’re out. We have had many patients come back to us after they took out their retainers to eat, only to throw them away after wrapping it in napkins and forgetting about them. To prevent this, we will give you a carrying case for your retainers, and we recommend a bright color to catch your eye and prevent you from leaving them around. 

Contact Us For Any Retainer Questions 

At Willowbrook Orthodontics, our most important is for you to enjoy your new beautiful smile, and wearing your retainer is the best way to keep it for the rest of your life. If you have any questions about retainers or orthodontics in general, please do not hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment at one of our four locations. We hope to hear from you soon!