Have you recently gotten your braces off? Chances are, you’re familiar with retainers. But what exactly do they do, and why are they so important? Here are some commonly asked questions about retainers.
Why are retainers important?
After finishing treatment, you may be ready to dive into forbidden foods or slack on your oral hygiene. But think again! Getting your braces off doesn’t mean that your orthodontic journey is over. Retainers play a crucial and active role in your smile.
Immediately after removing appliances like braces, teeth are especially prone to shifting. Retainers hold your teeth and bite in place, allowing that smile to stay as healthy and aligned as ever. Every retention plan is different, and we can tailor appliances to your lifestyle needs and goals. From permanent and removable options to plastic and metal materials, we have a retainer and retention plan for you!
How long will I wear a retainer?
Every patient’s plan is unique; some may even opt for permanent retainers, which they wear 24/7. However, most patients will wear a removable retainer full time for the first few months after completing treatment. Once the tissues holding your teeth in place strengthen, patients may switch to nightly wear.
Should I clean retainers?
Just like braces or teeth, retainers can accumulate bacteria during the day or night. Regular cleaning is crucial to ensure a healthy, cavity-free smile.
Can I eat with my retainers?
Always remove your retainer (if it’s not permanent!) before eating or drinking. Not mixing food with your retainer will avoid damaging the appliance and keep it clean. For those with permanent retainers, pay extra attention to your oral hygiene, as food can quickly become stuck in your appliances.
Can retainers cause oral hygiene issues?
With proper care, retainers are an asset to your oral health. Keeping your teeth and bite in place can prevent crowding, relapse, and related issues like temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Always follow our orthodontists’ instructions to ensure your smile is set for life!
If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our team!