After finishing your braces or Invisalign treatment, you feel excellent until your orthodontist hands your retainers. However, there is nothing to worry about as retainers are nothing compared to the process of braces. Furthermore, there are many benefits of retainers like you don’t need to wear them at night.
Why wear retainers after braces?
Retainers are comprised of plastic or acrylic and wire and are custom-made to fit the shape of your mouth. If you neglect to wear a retainer after braces, your teeth will return to their pre-braces state. But the severity of the shift depends on how frequently you use the retainers. Most importantly, if you skip the retainers, you may get an orthodontic relapse that will need effective treatment to correct.
Benefits of retainers
- Stabilize your bite: After removing braces, the soft tissue and bone around your teeth require time to adjust to the changes in tooth alignment. They gradually settle into their transition, and once that happens, the chances of relapse or the teeth shifting out of place are low.
- Maintain space for new teeth: Preteens and teenagers are most likely to use braces. As a result, they would need retainers for teeth around the time wisdom teeth developed. Therefore, retainers maintain the required space in teenagers’ jaws to accommodate new teeth, such as wisdom teeth. Moreover, consistent use of retainers prevents teeth from shifting or crowding due to a lack of space.
- Prevent treatment reversal: In the months after the removal of braces, the teeth will begin to shift back to their original position. A retainer can prevent the reverse from happening. However, depending on your case, you may need to wear a retainer for several years.
- Jaw alignment with gums: When your teeth are realigned to a new location, the gums, and bones surrounding them need longer to adjust. Retainers aid in the quickness of alignment and the stabilization of your bite.
- Help teeth adjust to their new position: The process is longer when you wear braces to align your teeth properly. This is true even for highly dislocated teeth and big overbites and underbites. Therefore, keeping the teeth firmly in their new places is essential until the mouth can adjust to these changes. The retainer aids this.
How long do you need to wear a retainer?
After braces are removed, you should keep your retainer for at least 12 months, and you may have to wear it full time for the first 4-6 months. However, because each orthodontic treatment is unique, the amount of time you must wear your retainer is determined by the type of orthodontic correction you got.
Your ability to diligently wear a retainer is critical to the outcome of your orthodontic treatment. Don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist if you have problems with your retainers or want to explore retainer options.
This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition