So you’ve gone through orthodontic treatment, and the day has finally arrived…you’re getting your braces off! This is the best day of your entire treatment, because you get to see the results of your time in braces or aligners and enjoy your beautiful new smile. We want you to be able to be proud to show off your smile for the rest of your life after your treatment is completed, which is why retainers are so important!
A retainer helps to keep your teeth straight and in place when your braces or aligners are done creating a beautiful, straight smile. For the first six months after orthodontic treatment, your bone and gums are still adjusting to the new position of your teeth, making them very unstable. Retainers help stabilize your teeth into their new position. After a few years, your new smile is more stable, but teeth can (and will) still shift out of place. Retainers need to become a part of your routine starting the day you get your braces off…and continue to be worn for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight!
We recommend that our patients wear their retainers full time or at least 12 hours a day (depending on the design) for the first six months. We like to use invisible retainers on the top, and either the traditional Hawley retainer or an invisible retainer on the bottom. This way, the patient’s lifestyle and speech is minimally affected by daily retainer wear. After the first six months, retainers should be worn every night.
The biggest problem we see with retainer use is that patients stop wearing them. We see so many patients as adults that have already had braces, but didn’t wear their retainers and their smile has reverted back to being crooked. We understand that retainers are easy to lose or break, and we don’t want that to get on the way of our patients maintaining their great results. At our office, we offer free unlimited retainer replacements for the first 5 years after treatment. This takes away a teen’s fear of telling their parents they lost their retainer at school, and it gets rid of the financial strain of replacing a retainer that may deter some patients from getting a new one. If you commit to “retainers for life,” you’ll have a beautiful smile you love for life, too!
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, retainer wear, or our services, visit our website to learn more and schedule an appointment! A new smile is just a click or a call away.