So you’ve been getting orthodontic treatment for what seems like a long time, and finally, your braces are about to come off! Now you’re home free, right? Well, almost, but now comes the final part of your treatment: the retention phase. That means you’ll need to wear a retainer. A retainer is an orthodontic appliance intended to keep your teeth in alignment after the initial orthodontic treatment has concluded.
Why Should You Wear Your Retainer Every Night?
At Senan Orthodontic Studios, we recommend wearing your retainers every night to help maintain the alignment of your smile for the rest of your life. Braces and aligners work by applying consistent pressure that stretches the network of tissues that connect your teeth to your jaws. The bones in your teeth remodel and change shape based on that pressure.
When constant pressure is removed, the gum and bone holding them in place aren’t strong enough to handle the task on their own — at least not yet — so retainers serve as added support. Failing to wear your retainer every night will lead to your teeth gradually shifting back, and you may lose your beautiful smile. Retainers also eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment.
Types of Retainers
There are three types of retainers that orthodontists prescribe after you’ve had your braces removed.
- Plastic: Clear plastic retainers have become popular in recent years because they’re virtually invisible and can be taken out when eating or brushing. They fit directly over the teeth, encompassing them entirely.
- Hawley: A removable retainer with a plastic part that sits in the roof of your mouth and a metal wire which runs across your teeth to maintain alignment.
- Fixed or Bonded Retainers: A fixed or bonded retainer usually consists of a thin wire positioned across the interior surface of the lower or upper front teeth. This wire is then bonded into place with glue similar to the one used to attach braces to teeth.
How Often Should I Get a Replacement Retainer?
With proper care, most retainers will last for two years before you need a replacement. However, you need to replace your retainers once they move a lot, they’ve become too tight, or they get damaged.
Orthodontic Retainers in McAllen, TX
It can be tempting to think that you’re finally done with orthodontic appliances, especially if your treatment was lengthy. But wearing your retainer is the best way to keep your smile straight and prevent the need for future treatment. If you would like a replacement retainer, don’t hesitate to contact our orthodontic office today to schedule an appointment!