Unfortunately, retainers are often the forgotten appliance when it comes to the orthodontic scene. But…why should braces and headgear get all the attention? Retainers are just as important as their more famous counterparts.
The most common question we hear in our office when handing out this smile-saving appliance is:
Do I have to wear my retainer forever?
And, our answer usually goes something like this:
Do you want to keep your smile forever?
Playfulness aside, it’s important to understand that it takes a few years for the bones, muscles and tissues in your mouth to settle into place and relearn their new positions and functions following treatment with braces. During this time, it is critically important that you continue to wear your retainer to keep all of your teeth on the straight and narrow.
- For the First Year: For the first year following the removal of your braces, you must wear your retainer day and night. This is the most critical time during which newly placed teeth need to be protected from moving back into their original positions.
- 3-5 Years Following: For even better results, we recommend that you continue to wear the retainer for 3-5 years following braces.
- For Life: And, for the best results and a beautiful smile that will follow you into adulthood, you should wear your retainer at night 3-5 times a week for life!
Caring for your retainer:
- Brush your retainer when you brush your teeth in the morning and night with your normal toothbrush and paste – this will help to remove decay-causing bacteria and keep your teeth protected.
- Remove your retainer at meals. To keep the experience of eating a pleasant one, and to protect your retainer from damage from hard foods, you should remove it while you eat. This means you will always want to keep your retainer case handy, in your pocket or lunch box, so that you don’t leave it behind in the cafeteria!
Whether you are new to braces and retainers or a seasoned pro, we have great tips that can save you time, pain and money! Visit our website or call us at Westshore Dental Centre Phone Number778-700-FACE for more information.