Everyone going through orthodontic treatment looks forward to the day where their treatment plan ends, and they get to enjoy their beautiful new smile. However, there is one final step that’s critical to the long-term success of your treatment. Whether you had Invisalign or traditional bracket braces, your teeth have been moved from a state of misalignment to proper alignment.
In order to stay in that position, however, they need a little assistance. This is where a retainer comes into play.
What Does a Retainer Do?
Almost everyone has seen a retainer. The most common type of retainer is a little piece of plastic shaped like the roof of someone’s mouth with a thin wire going around the front. There are other types of retainers as well, but they all serve the same purpose. They help hold your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment.
Almost immediately after the removal of your braces or the completion of your Invisalign treatment, you’ll be fitted for a retainer. They are also sometimes utilized after oral surgery as well.
Why You Need a Retainer
Though orthodontic treatment moves your teeth into proper alignment, your mouth isn’t used to this. Your teeth have spent a long time in misalignment. Your gums, as well as your surrounding mouth structure, have grown to accommodate this state of misalignment.
Left unchecked, your teeth will slowly but surely shift back into misalignment. This completely undoes your months of wearing braces or Invisalign. It is critical that you wear your retainer as instructed if you wish to keep your new, healthier smile.
How Long Do Retainers Need to be Worn?
The length of time you have to wear your retainer largely depends on your situation. Sometimes, a permanent retainer will be bonded behind your teeth to keep them in place. Don’t worry, these retainers are completely unnoticeable to people you interact with.
Alternatively, you may be given a more traditional removable retainer instead. Your orthodontist will prescribe the duration to wear your retainer. Often, removable retainers are worn daily for the first four months. After that, they just have to be worn at night.
Don’t Be Intimidated by Retainers
Though retainers are often made fun of in movies and shows, they don’t actually cause any inconvenience to your day-to-day life. Whether you have a permanent retainer or a removable one, it’s not something other people are going to see.
As for your personal experience, retainers are comfortable and pain free to wear. That is, as long as you wear them consistently. If you go an extended period without wearing your retainer, you may discover they fit a little tight. Just follow your orthodontist’s instructions, and you will be fine.
If the idea of wearing a retainer is keeping you from getting orthodontic treatment, don’t be worried. Much like braces or Invisalign, you’ll quickly adapt to the point where you’ll forget its even there. Contact an orthodontist today to start your journey towards your best smile ever.
For an orthodontist in the Beavercreek, Ohio area, contact Dhingra Orthodontics today! We also have offices in Springfield and Bellefontaine.