How Often Should You Wear Your Orthodontic Retainers?

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Orthodontic retainers help secure the alignment of your teeth after wearing braces. People who have recently had their braces off are excited to show off their improved smiles. However, they should remember to wear retainers. Neglecting to wear a retainer could undo the months or years of improvement from braces. If you want to know how often you should have your orthodontic retainers on, here are the details.

What orthodontic retainers are

Retainers aim to keep the patient’s teeth straight after the orthodontic treatment. Each retainer is custom-fit to the patient’s mouth. It will keep the aligned teeth straight. The tightness and discomfort result from the jawbone adjusting to the new alignment of teeth. This discomfort will fade because of frequent use.

The importance of orthodontic retainers

Wearing braces can straighten teeth, but it cannot ensure permanent results. Teeth tend to move back to their original positions a while after the treatment. Regression will happen unless retainers keep them in place. This dental appliance helps keep the teeth straight. An individual should wear retainers as often as possible for the first three to six months after the dentist removes the brackets.

The long-term wearing of orthodontic retainers

Wearing these dental appliances will be indefinite. It will take dedication and commitment to wear the retainers. The period of wearing the dental appliances will depend on how long it has been since the dentist removed the braces. The dentist will provide instructions on how to wear the retainers. Failing to wear the retainers for one to two days can cause issues. The teeth will shift back, and the patient would need to go through the orthodontic treatment again.

Most patients need to wear retainers for three to six months. Then, the patient must keep wearing the retainers for one to three years. Then, wearing the retainers would have to shift to two to three nights each week. This is tedious but necessary to keep teeth straight.

Types of retainers

Fixed and removable retainers are available. The dentist can recommend one of these two types of retainers. In some cases, a patient could use both types of retainers in conjunction. This will help keep the teeth straight as planned.

Fixed retainers are much like orthodontic braces. The dentist will place a thin wire behind the aligned teeth. Then, the dentist will bond the wire to the teeth. This wire will keep the teeth in position.

Removable retainers are more convenient. The patient can remove the retainers and store them when brushing or eating. These retainers are easier to clean. It allows the patient to practice better oral care.

The patient must remember to wear orthodontic retainers. Some patients misplace these dental appliances. The dentist would have to get another one made for the patient. A forgetful patient may benefit more from a fixed retainer.

Proper retainer care

Keeping retainers in good condition is important. It is easy for bacteria to take over the mouth and damage teeth. The retainers must always be clean and sanitized. These dental appliances can keep teeth straight better if they are in top shape all the time. Rinsing the retainers in cold, clean water is ideal after and before putting them on.

A removable retainer must have a sturdy plastic case. This will prevent loss and damage. The retainers could shrink if it soaks in hot water. Cleaning the dental appliance with a retainer cleaner every three months is important. It removes any stubborn stain or grime that tends to harbor bacteria. Keeping the orthodontic retainers away from young children and pets must become an important habit.

Being aware of food and drinks can also help keep retainers in good shape. Avoiding crunchy, hard, and sticky foods can help prevent cracks. Tooth decay can also result from drinking or eating acidic and sweet products. Keeping them off the grocery list can help keep aligners and the patient’s teeth in good health. Seeing the dentist for routine dental visits also helps keep the retainer and the teeth in good shape.

Wearing orthodontic retainers indefinitely is necessary to keep your teeth straight

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontic Retainers in Phoenix, AZ.

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