At last! Your braces treatment is finished and the time has come to have them removed! But just when you thought your orthodontic treatment was over, your orthodontist tells you that you need to wear a retainer...
As much as we feel for you, retainers are just important in the orthodontic treatment process as braces.
But, why do I need a retainer?
Typically made of a combination of metal and plastic, retainers are custom-made orthodontic appliances that are designed to ‘retain’ your teeth in their new, corrected positions.
After your braces are removed, your teeth need to settle into their new positions in soft tissue and jaw bone around them. Wearing a retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting out of their new positions after your braces are no longer holding them in place.
Wearing your retainer as prescribed is the best way to maintain the positive results of your orthodontic treatment.
How long should your retainer be worn?
Most patients wear their retainers for about a year, but the time frame can vary from person to person.
Your orthodontist will carefully monitor the stability of your teeth while you wear your retainer, and make a recommendation about whether you should wear it full time, or part time.
Are retainers comfortable?
Usually, yes. You may, however, feel some occasional soreness, discomfort or pressure while wearing your retainer. This is normal, so don’t worry!
Ultimately, the more consistently you wear your retainer, the more comfortable it will be.