Retainers, also known as removable braces, are appliances worn after braces are removed. These retainers are custom-made to fit each person’s mouth. After the braces are removed, the retainer helps keep the teeth in place. Retainers are needed after braces because they help to maintain the new position of the teeth. The teeth are held in place by these appliances. Our orthodontist in Hamilton, MT, and orthodontist in Stevensville, MT, explain the importance of retainers after braces.
A retainer is a custom-made appliance used to maintain the teeth in their new position after braces are removed. It is typically made from clear acrylic and fits around the roof of the mouth or can be custom-made to fit around each tooth.
The purpose of a retainer is to:
Wearing a retainer is crucial to ensure treatment is complete, so patients should wear them as instructed by their dentist. Not wearing a retainer can result in relapse, where teeth shift back out of alignment!
Retainers are removable orthodontic appliances that are placed after braces are removed. They hold the teeth in their new positions while the surrounding gums and bones adjust to the new tooth alignment. Wearing your retainer helps prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position, which could cause an unsightly gap between the teeth and gums. Think of your retainer as a safety net that ensures your smile stays perfect for years to come. This is why it’s so important to wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist.
If you don’t wear your retainer, the teeth can shift out of position, which will be difficult (if not impossible) to correct. Plus, you’ll need to have a new set of braces put on all over again!
What Happens When I Don’t Wear My Retainer?
If you don’t wear your retainer as prescribed, your teeth will eventually begin to shift back into their original position. This can result in a change in alignment and bite and may make it more difficult or even impossible to straighten them again using braces or Invisalign® in the future.
Retainers should be cleaned daily using a soft toothbrush and water. They are not to be chewed on or placed in hot water to avoid cracking. They are also not to be bent in any way, including when putting them in or taking them out.
Patients who properly care for their retainers can expect to use them for 12 to 24 months on average. This can vary by patient. When it is time to switch to a new retainer, the patient’s orthodontist will explain the process and timeline involved. It is important to remember that not wearing any retainer at all can undo all the hard work put into orthodontic treatment!
Get in touch with Carroll Orthodontics at 1116 W Main St, Hamilton, MT 59840, or 3920 US Hwy 93, Stevensville, MT 59870, or call (406) 363-2200 to learn more.