Now that your orthodontic treatment is finished, you feel good about your smile and your straight teeth. But, to keep your smile healthy and aligned, you need to wear a retainer.
Retainers are essential to maintaining a perfectly aligned smile long after braces or other orthodontic treatments are finished. So if you don’t have one come visit us at Duval Orthodontics located in Warner Robins and Albany, Georgia.
Our orthodontist Dr. J.A. Duval uses treatments, like braces, to shift your teeth and realign your bite. But once they come off your teeth, your smile needs something to help it stay aligned; that’s the key function of a dental retainer.
Your teeth can shift back to their old position over time. This is known as relapse, when your teeth and jawbone regress to form a misalignment or bite issues — the reason you needed orthodontics in the first place.
A misaligned bite can harm your dental health in many ways. If your bite isn’t properly aligned, you’re adding pressure on your teeth. This can lead to cracked teeth as well as damage to your jaw muscles and joints.
That’s why wearing your retainer is so important, as it ensures that your teeth settle and prevents them from falling back out of alignment.
It may seem odd, but wearing your retainer after your braces are removed can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Sometimes, it’s challenging to clean between crooked, crowded teeth. If bacteria remain in the pockets of your teeth, it can affect your tooth enamel, cause decay, and eventually gum disease.
It’s normal for most patients to wear their retainer day and night for three months once they finish their orthodontic treatment. So, you need to clean your retainer and care for it to keep both your mouth and retainer problem-free.
Cleaning your retainer is simple. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean plaque and remove odor-causing bacteria. You can also use products specifically designed for cleaning retainers, such as tablets that dissolve in water. It’s important to remember that retainers are plastic, and hot water can damage and warp them.
When your retainer isn’t in your mouth, it should always be in its case to prevent damage. Pets can smell food on your retainer no matter how well you clean it. So try getting in a habit of putting it in the case when you brush your teeth or before going out for dinner.
If you need a retainer or want to learn more about the types of retainers and orthodontic appliances we offer, schedule your appointment at Duval Orthodontics over the phone or by booking online.