Whether you’re a child or an adult straightening your teeth with clear braces or Invisalign®, the work doesn’t stop once your teeth are straight and properly aligned. Instead, you need to take steps to make those results last, and that’s where your brand new retainer comes in.
Believe it or not, your teeth have a memory of sorts. More simply put, they’ll drift back to their original position without the right maintenance plan. But don’t worry — your retainer comes with less hassle and fuss than your teeth straightening did!
Dr. J.A. Duval at Duval Orthodontics in Albany, and Warner Robins, Georgia, provides high-quality retainers, and he can offer expert advice on how to keep your new smile intact with good retainer-wearing habits.
As the name implies, a retainer is designed to retain the position of your teeth. That’s because when you reposition your teeth with braces or other orthodontic treatments, they tend to gradually return to their former position over time. And the risk for this is highest right after your braces come off.
Fortunately, wearing a retainer can keep your teeth in their ideal position during the months and years after your corrective tooth straightening. And there’s more good news. Over time, you can typically reduce the number of hours you wear your retainer per day as your teeth become more settled in their new position.
In most cases, you should plan on wearing your retainer as much as possible in the first few months after completing your teeth adjustment. When you see your orthodontist for a follow-up appointment around the six-month mark, you can often start wearing your retainer less — at night and then for a few hours a day.
However, Dr. Duval always provides personalized recommendations based on your treatment. It’s important to always follow these instructions if you want to maintain your beautiful smile.
Failing to wear your retainer as directed can cause your teeth to start shifting back into their position before you started braces or Invisalign — or even drifting into a new position.
It’s essential to follow your retainer recommendation closely. And, if you struggle to remember to wear your retainer, a permanent retainer might be the best option.
In addition to wearing your retainer as directed, make sure you also practice good oral hygiene. Your retainer may do wonders keeping your smile straight, but it can also trap bacteria around your teeth and gums.
Clean your teeth well by brushing and flossing daily, and take care of your retainer, too, with daily cleaning. At the end of the day, good periodontal health and good orthodontic results go hand-in-hand.
Do you have questions about braces, Invisalign®, or retainers? Contact the Duval Orthodontics office nearest you to book an appointment today. You can call or request a consultation online.