After your braces come off, you will still have to wear a retainer to ensure that your teeth remain in place.
A retainer is a device worn around the teeth once braces are removed. Retainers allow the bones to tighten around your newly straightened teeth to assure that they stay in alignment. Your retainer is custom made to fit only your teeth, and it plays an essential role in the final stages of your orthodontic treatment.
How Long Will I Have to Wear My Retainers?
The amount of time that you will wear your retainers will depend on many variables. Typically, patients wear their retainers for a couple of years to ensure that the bone structure and the gums tighten around your realigned teeth. Throughout the retention process, you will meet with Dr. Wright to evaluate the fit of your retainer so that slight adjustments can be made if necessary.
You will wear your retainers 24 hours a day; however, they will be removed when eating, for cleaning, and when participating in contact sports.
How to Care for Your Retainers
Brushing your retainer is just as important as brushing your teeth on a daily basis. Cleaning your retainer allows you to remove food debris. To keep your retainers clean, brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste every time you brush your teeth. If they are not kept clean, the retainers will get a plaque build-up and an odor. You should also rinse your retainer after every meal.
In addition to keeping your retainers clean, there are other important steps you should follow to safeguard your retainers. If you have pets, it is important to keep your retainer away from them. Pets look at retainers as chew toys.
You will be given a protective case for your retainer. Always keep your retainer in its protective case when it is not in your mouth. When you take your retainers out to eat, never wrap retainers in a napkin. You may forget about them and mistake them for trash that gets thrown away. Also, never put your retainer directly into your pocket, purse or backpack without the protective case. Your retainer might become bent or crushed, and it is costly to replace.
Keep your retainer away from heat to keep it from changing shape. Your retainer will melt or warp if it gets hot. Never leave your retainer in a hot car, or by a stove or heater. Never put your retainer in a washing machine or in hot or boiling water.
To learn more about retainers, contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Wright Orthodontics has two convenient locations to serve you in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. As always, your initial consultation at Wright Orthodontics is offered free of charge with no hidden fees.