If you’ve just had your braces removed this can be a momentous occasion. Now you finally get to see your beautiful new smile after all those months of wearing orthodontics. Since teeth often shift back after treatment, the purpose of the retainer is to prevent this from happening. The more severe the misalignment the more likely it will be that your teeth will try to move back to their original positions
Therefore, in order to keep that straighter smile, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in the proper position. In fact, retainers are often just as important as braces are to your orthodontic treatment.
Retainers are removable orthodontics that are worn to prevent teeth from shifting back into their original place before braces. Your dentist will give you a list of instructions for how to care for your new retainers and when to wear them. In the beginning you will most likely wear your retainers all the time, even when sleeping. However, you may need to remove them before physical activity.
While retainers prevent teeth from shifting, they can also be used to correct other dental issues. Some patients may wear retainers to close gaps between teeth or to just move one tooth. In these minor dental cases, traditional braces aren’t really necessary as a retainer can handle these problems.
Retainers can also be recommended to reduce symptoms related to certain medical conditions like tongue thrusting, TMJ and bruxism (teeth grinding).
Wearing Your Retainers
It may take a couple days to adjust to wearing your new retainer. Some patients do experience some soreness the first few days; however, this is completely normal and will go away as your mouth gets use to the new appliance.
You will need to clean your retainer each day with a toothbrush and toothpaste, just as you would your teeth. In the beginning, you will wear your retainer all the time. After a few months, we may recommend that you wear your retainers a few times a week. Over time, you may transition to only wearing your retainers each night.
Would you like to learn if retainers are right for you? Contact the Reston, VA orthodontists at Orthodontic Precision today at (703) 391-8800 for more information or to book an appointment!