If you’ve just finished wearing braces, congratulations! You’ve made it through a significant milestone in your dental journey. However, the process doesn’t end there. After braces, you’ll need to wear retainers to help keep your teeth in their new positions. So before consulting dental services, here’s why retainers are important and when to stop wearing them.
What Are Retainers?
Although braces straighten your teeth, they need time to adapt to their new position. Retainers work by keeping them in place until they naturally settle, ensuring they remain in their new positions for good. If you don’t use retainers, your teeth may slowly shift back to their original positions, negating the progress achieved by braces.
There are two main types of retainers:
- Fixed retainers: These are small wires that are attached to the back of your front teeth. They’re not visible from the front, and you won’t have to remove them.
- Removable retainers: These aligners are specially made of plastic and designed to fit your teeth. You must wear them for a certain period every day, and you can take them off when you need to eat or brush your teeth.
The Duration of Retainer Wear Time
The time you need to wear a retainer depends on various factors, such as the extent of your orthodontic problems and how long you had braces. You must wear your retainer constantly for the first few months after getting your braces off.
You might start wearing them every night at first, but later on, you could switch to wearing them only at night. As time passes, you only need to wear them a few nights every week.
You should also adhere to the guidelines and dental services your orthodontist gives for wearing retainers. The duration and frequency of retainer use may vary between individuals based on their progress. Your orthodontist will check your progress and modify the retainer usage as required.
When to Stop Wearing Retainers
You will have to use retainers for your entire life, but as time passes, you will need to wear them less frequently. This is because your teeth are always moving, even if it’s only a small amount. As you get older, your teeth may shift due to natural causes such as teeth grinding, changes in the soft tissues of your mouth, and jaw growth.
By wearing retainers for the rest of your life, you ensure your teeth stay in their new positions and that minor shifts are corrected before they become major problems. However, the type of retainer you wear may change over time. For example, you may switch from a fixed retainer to a removable one, or the frequency of wear may decrease.
It’s also essential to take good care of your retainers. After all, they’re an investment in maintaining your dental health. Clean them regularly, keep them safe, and replace them as needed. If you notice any wear or damage, consult your orthodontist immediately.
Retainers are a crucial aspect of post-brace treatment. To ensure the best possible outcome, following your orthodontist’s instructions carefully and taking good care of your retainers is essential.
Remember, with dental services, you should only trust experienced professionals who can provide high-quality care and personalized treatment. You can enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for years with the right care and attention.
Welcome to Manassas Smiles, your one-stop destination for all your dental needs in Manassas! From teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry, our expert team of dentists delivers top-notch dental services to our patients. Book an appointment now to experience the difference!