While it may not seem like wearing your retainer is important, it is actually an extremely important precaution to keep once you get your braces off. Even though your braces have already straightened your teeth, they can still shift or move around as they get settled. It is extremely important to wear a retainer for at least three months after your braces have been taken off. We know you are excited to have your braces off, and having to wear a retainer seems to take the joy out of it, but wearing a retainer is not nearly as bad as braces were, and will keep you from need braces again.
Why is it Important?
Once your braces have been taken off, your teeth are still settling into their new positions, retainers are crucial to ensures that this settling takes place, your teeth don’t move or get pushed out of place. Retainers ensure that the past 2-4 years of wearing braces was not for nothing but will work as a stabilizer to keep your teeth in their straightened positions. Basically, wearing the retainer is the final step in ensuring a lifetime of perfect beautiful teeth.
Types of Retainers
There are three different types of retainers available after wearing braces.
- Permanent Retainers are glued onto the back of your teeth, and remains in your mouth until professionally taken out. These are nice for teeth that move easily or people who wear a different type of dental appliance.
- Hawley Retainers are the most common type of retainers that are made of metal and acrylic. You are able to remove these retainers when you’re eating, or not needing to wear them.
- Essix Retainers are more like invisalign braces, and are made of a clear plastic. Essix retainers can also be removed when eating or when you do not need to wear them.
How Long Does Wearing the Retainer Last?
Your orthodontist will recommend that you wear your retainer for a duration of three months minimum, but keep in mind wearing the retainer longer will have more benefits. It is highly recommended that you wear your retainer for as long as you had the braces. This will ensure that your teeth will remain as straight as they were once you got your braces out. When the time comes, Dr. Christiansen would be happy to talk to you about how long you should wear your retainer, and the benefits that come along with it.