At The Village Orthodontist, Dr. Moles and his team enjoy watching our patients finish their treatment, and enjoy the moments when they get to see their beautiful new smiles for the first time! Once you’re done wearing bracesor Invisalign, the retention phase of treatment begins, which is extremely important if you want to maintain your straight and healthy smile.
So why is wearing your retainer so important? Learn more below!
Why You Must Wear a Retainer
When you’re done wearing your braces or aligners, your teeth can still shift back to their original spots. This is because the gums, bones and the muscles & tissues of the mouth need time to adapt to the new positions the teeth are in. The retention phase of treatment ensures that your teeth stay put. By wearing a retainer as directed, you’ll completely eliminate any chances that your teeth will shift back to their original positions.
Types of Retainers
A retainer is a custom-made orthodontic device that fits snugly over the teeth to prevent them from shifting out of place. At The Village Orthodontist, we use the following types of retainers:
- Hawley retainers
- Fixed wire retainers
- Clear plastic retainers
You can learn more about each of these retainers on our retention page.
Below, we’ve also included a few tips that will help ensure the time you spend wearing a retainer goes smoothly.
Follow All the Directions We Give You
On the day you finish wearing braces or Invisalign, we’ll take an impression of your teeth so we can create your custom-made retainer. We will also provide you with some detailed instructions regarding how and when to wear your retainer, along with some care tips. To prevent your teeth from moving out of alignment, it’s extremely important that you follow instructions from Dr. Moles.
Keep Your Retainer Germ-Free and Fresh
All retainers need proper cleaning to keep them germ-free and fresh. If you’re wearing a Hawley or clear plastic removable retainer, brush it gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush every time you clean your teeth. It’s also a good idea to soak a removable retainer once per week using a special retainer cleaner like Retainer Brite. If you’re wearing a fixed retainer, you can keep it clean by brushing and flossing.
Always Use Your Retainer Case
If you’re wearing a removable retainer, it’s important to always store your retainer in the case when you’re not wearing it. You’d be surprised by the number of retainers we’ve had to replace because of patients folding them in napkins at mealtime and tossing them in the trash by mistake.
Don’t Play with Your Retainer
To avoid cracking or breaking your retainer, don’t play with it using your tongue or fingers. And never click or bite it in and out of your mouth using your tongue or teeth as this can weaken the wires, causing them to break.