Retaining a beautiful smile: Why do I need to wear a retainer after having braces?

orthodontic retainers

You’ve endured the long journey to your new, beautiful smile. How do you ensure you maintain this brand new smile for the remainder of your life? Retainers play a big role in helping you maintain the alignment of your new smile.

Why do I need to wear retainers?

In most cases, retainers are used as the last phase of orthodontic treatment. Following orthodontic treatment, our teeth have a tendency to move back into their original place. Retainers are responsible for holding the new alignment of the teeth while encouraging an improved bite after your orthodontic treatment.

What are the different types of retainers?

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of retainers frequently used.

Removable retainers

Removable retainers can be made from stainless steel wires and acrylic, or as clear vacuum formed retainers. As the name states, they are removable.

Fixed retainers  

Fixed retainers are metal wires bonded to the back of teeth. They allow for aesthetic and prolonged retention. They can be made directly in the mouth, or externally from a model.

How long do I need to wear my retainer?

Retainers are for life.  If you don’t want your teeth to return to the original position, then wear your retainers as instructed by your Orthodontist.

How do I clean my retainer?

Fixed retainers can be more difficult to clean. However, good cleaning, flossing procedures, and regular dental check-ups can help you maintain a healthy and clean smile for as long as required.

Removable retainers can be removed during cleaning of the teeth. The actual retainer itself can also be cleaned. You can brush the removable retainer with a separate toothbrush using running water.  Do not use toothpaste as this will scratch your retainer making it cloudy.

Do I still need to visit the orthodontist?

You should always continue regular orthodontic appointments regardless of the treatment type. Your orthodontist will provide you post-treatment recommendations for check-up appointments to ensure everything is progressing as planned

Instyle Orthodontics

Instyle Orthodontics provide a wide range of orthodontic treatments for children, teens, and adults. Dr David Vautin and the team at Instyle will walk you through every step of your orthodontic plan. Post-orthodontic treatment and retainer use will be largely influenced by your unique smile and treatment type.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at Instyle.

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