The day has finally arrived: your braces are coming off! But just when you thought your orthodontic treatment was over, your orthodontist tells you your not quite done yet; you need to wear a retainer.
While we do feel for you, the fact is that retainers are just as important as braces in the orthodontic treatment process.
Why do you need a retainer?
Retainer are custom-made orthodontic appliances. Your retainer is designed just for you to ‘retain’ your teeth in their new, corrected positions.
Now that your braces are off, your teeth must settle into the soft tissue and jaw bone around them. This process takes some time, and the retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting out of their new positions after your braces are no longer holding them in place.
The best way to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment is by wearing your retainer as your orthodontist prescribes.
How do you need to wear your retainer?
Most orthodontic patients wear their retainers full time for about a year, but this time frame can vary quite a bit from one person to another.
Your orthodontist will monitor the stability of your teeth during your time wearing your retainer, and make a recommendation about whether it should be worn full time or part time.
Are retainers comfortable?
You will sometimes feel some 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 feel.