Today's the day when you get your braces off and your straighter new smile will be revealed, congratulations! But wait, that's not where your orthodontic treatment ends. Now you will need to wear a retainer for a few months. Here's why wearing a retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment.
You were convinced that once your braces came off your orthodontic treatment would be done, but now your orthodontist is telling you that you need to wear a retainer. We know how disappointing that news can be, but your retainer is as important to your orthodontic treatment as your braces were!
What Retainers Do
Now that your teeth are where you want them, it's important to make sure that they stay there! It takes some time for teeth to settle into the soft tissue and bone once they have been moved to their corrected positions. Orthodontic retainers are used to prevent teeth from shifting out of their new positions during this settling-in phase.
Your retainer is custom made to fit your new smile precisely and works to maintain the results you achieved through wearing your braces. So your retainer keeps your straighter smile looking its best as it settles in, and that's why wearing your retainer as instructed is so important!
How Long You Will Need to Wear Your Retainer
Your orthodontist will be sure to provide you with instructions suited to your unique smile, but most patients will wear a retainer full-time for about a year then move on to part-time wear. Your orthodontist will carefully monitor the stability of your smile and let you know when you can start wearing your retainer on a part-time basis.
Just like when you first got your braces, you may feel some slight discomfort or pressure when you first begin wearing your retainer. The good news is that the more you wear your retainer, the more quickly you'll get used to it, and the more comfortable it will begin feel.