Posted on December 13, 2020

Why You Need To Wear A Retainer After Orthodontic Treatment

Your orthodontic treatment is coming to an end, so what’s next? A retainer.

Too many people neglect this process and end up with crooked teeth again. While you might think everything’s done now that your teeth are straight, wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment is 100% necessary to maintain your new, beautiful smile.

We have convenient locations in Parker and Castle Rock, CO to make it easy for you to keep your smile straight for a lifetime!

Here’s why you need to wear a retainer after you get your braces off.

Why Do You Need to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

A retainer makes sure your teeth stay straight after braces or Invisalign®. Without it, your teeth will begin to shift back to the position they were in before treatment. You can either live with it or pay to get them aligned again.

Think of wearing a retainer as phase two of your orthodontic treatment. Even though your teeth are properly straightened now, they’re still very sensitive and want to shift back to their original positions.

It is a lot cheaper and more convenient to wear your retainer than to avoid it and have to pay for additional orthodontic treatments down the road. Plus, you won’t have to go through the one-to-three-year wait for straight teeth again.

How Long Do You Need to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

Most likely, you will have to wear your retainer for as long as you want straight teeth. The first month after you get your braces or aligners off is the most important – at this stage, it’s vital to wear your retainer around the clock. Even a few days of not wearing it can cause the teeth to shift enough for your retainer to no longer fit.

You will have to wear your retainer from 20-22 hours a day for the first three to twelve months after alignment. This won’t last forever, though – when Dr. Struhs gives the okay, you’ll only have to wear it at night.

Of course, every patient’s situation is different depending on what type of orthodontic treatment they received.

Can You Only Wear Your Retainer at Night?

After three to twelve months of wearing your retainer for 20-22 hours a day, you will be able to wear it only while you sleep. Until then, though, you need to wear it as directed to ensure your teeth don’t shift back to the way they were before treatment.

Can a Retainer Straighten Your Teeth?

Technically, a retainer can straighten your teeth but don’t try it. The purpose of a retainer is to keep already straightened teeth in place.

If you find your retainer putting a lot of pressure on your teeth or causing you pain, schedule an appointment immediately. An improper fit usually results from not wearing your retainer for a few days. If this happens, do not try to force your retainer onto your teeth. We will likely need to give you a new, custom retainer.

Types of Retainers

Not all retainers are created equal, but your orthodontist will select the one that’s best for your treatment plan. There are a few different types of retainers:

  • Permanent retainers – As the name suggests, these are permanently cemented to the back side of your teeth. These are the most convenient since you don’t have to remember to wear them. However, you do have to make sure to properly clean it and visit the dentist for regular cleanings, because it’s easy for plaque to build up.
  • Hawley retainer – This is the most common type of retainer. It’s a removable retainer made of plastic and wires that fits right over your teeth.
  • Clear retainer – Clear retainers are more discreet than Hawley retainers. They’re made of clear plastic that most people won’t even notice you’re wearing!

Retainers in Parker and Castle Rock, CO

Are you in need of a retainer? Don’t let the money you spent on braces go to waste! Schedule an appointment online today so you can keep that confident smile for a lifetime.

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