Your Retainer: Why Wearing It Matters

February 12, 2015
Your Retainer: Why Wearing It Matters

You’ve gone through the months or years required to complete your treatment and have been rewarded with a beautiful, healthy smile. Wearing your retainer is important because it’s the very best way to safeguard the results that you had when your braces came off or you wore your last Invisalign tray and that you should be so proud to have achieved.

Didn’t My Braces Move My Teeth Into the Right Position?

They absolutely did! However, although your treatment has slowly guided and rotated your teeth into their ideal positions, your gums and bones will need a little bit more time to stabilize in their new positions. Your retainer has been designed as a perfect mould of your freshly aligned smile, and it helps ensure that your teeth aren’t tempted to go back into their previous positions. By wearing your retainer, you’re providing your mouth, gums and bones with extra support as they need become fully accustomed to their new placement, reducing the chance of a relapse and needing to begin your treatment again.

What Kind of Retainer Will I Have?

There are two types of retainers that Docbraces offers our patients: clear retainers that fit like a mouthguard, and the more familiar Hawley retainer made of acrylic and wire. Both have their own unique benefits. A clear retainer is great for patients who have been told to wear their retainers during the day as well as overnight. Needing to wear your retainers during both night and day for a short time at the end of treatment is a common requirement for many patients.

Hawley retainers are commonly used for patients who have had jaw surgery or whose treatment was more complex. This kind of retainer offers a higher level of stability at the end of a course of treatment.

How Long Do I Wear My Retainer?

Most patients will be instructed to wear their retainers for at least 8 hours a day, which coincides perfectly with a good night of sleep! Of course, like all orthodontic treatment, your personal recommendation might be a little bit longer depending on the complexity of your case. We encourage our patients to wear their retainers for at least 24 months after the end of their treatment, but there’s absolutely no harm in continuing to protect your results even after that. In fact, it’s a great idea to continue to wear your retainers nightly indefinitely to keep your beautiful smile in perfect condition. Retention is for life!

By the time you get your retainer, you’ll be so used to having an orthodontic appliance, you won’t even need to get used to wearing it. Further, since you’ll be able to remove it (and in some cases only have to wear it at night), it won’t interrupt your daily or mealtime routines and will be very easy to keep clean.

Your retainer is an easy way to ensure your beautiful, healthy smile stays that way. When you’ve invested so much into your treatment, ensure it lasts a lifetime by wearing your retainer!

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