Why You Shouldn't Brush Off Wearing Your Retainer

Why You Shouldn't Brush Off Wearing Your Retainer

After achieving a beautiful new smile with Invisalign® or braces, you still have a bit of work to do to keep your teeth from shifting back to imperfection. You may not want to add another step to your routine, but you shouldn’t brush off wearing your retainer.

At Duval Orthodontics in Warner Robins and Albany, Georgia, Dr. Duval customizes your retainer to fit your unique needs, so you can be happy with your smile for as long as possible. Today, let’s find out why and how retainers are so important to maintaining the alignment of your teeth.

Why you need a retainer

When you get your braces off, or come to the end of your Invisalign treatment, your teeth aren’t permanently set in place. They can and will shift back toward their original, imperfect position if you don’t take the proper care to keep them straight.

A retainer quite literally “retains” the alignment of your teeth by holding them in the desired position. Your teeth are most at risk of shifting immediately after treatment ends, so wearing your retainer as Dr. Duval instructs is crucial to maintain your newly aligned smile.

Different types of retainers

Depending on your needs and the alignment treatment you undergo, Dr. Duval may fit you with one of several types of retainer. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of retainers offered at Duval Orthodontics.

Removable wire retainers

Also known as Hawley retainers, these retainers are a durable option that can be adjusted by an orthodontist to fit you flawlessly. This type of retainer has a metal wire that sits on the outside of your teeth to keep them in position.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of your teeth to stay in place indefinitely, or until your orthodontist removes them (if needed). This may be a great option if you have trouble remembering to put in a removable retainer, but may be more challenging to keep clean.

Clear plastic retainers

This type of removable retainer is molded to your teeth to provide an exact fit and almost invisible appearance when worn. They are less durable than wire retainers, however, and will need to be replaced if they break or need realignment. 

How long should you wear your retainer?

Unless you have a fixed retainer that stays in your mouth permanently, you may be wondering what the timeline is for wearing your retainer. 

In most cases, Dr. Duval recommends wearing a retainer 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the three months immediately following treatment. After three months, if your teeth are looking good and aligned, you may be able to scale back the time spent with the retainer in.

Consequences of not using your retainer

Brushing off wearing your retainer can mean time and money down the drain, as your teeth can quickly shift out of alignment without it. Always follow your orthodontist’s directions and check in with us before making any changes to your retainer routine. 

Duval Orthodontics is here to support you in maintaining the alignment of your smile. If you frequently forget to put in your retainer, or you find it uncomfortable to wear, we can help find a solution to make it easier.

At Duval Orthodontics, we want you to be satisfied with the results of your alignment for years to come. Call or click today, book a virtual consultation, or request an appointment at the location closest to you.

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