It can be frustrating to need a retainer after braces treatment. After all, aren’t you supposed to be done with straightening your teeth? A retainer might not seem like a necessary tool. However, it actually has a very important role in orthodontics. Below, we will explain why you will need a retainer once your braces come off.
What is a Retainer?
A retainer is a special device that is designed to keep your teeth in place. After braces, they “retain” the new position of your teeth. They are custom-made out of plastic and metal. Most retainers are removable. If you have a removable retainer, then your orthodontist will tell you how long to wear it every day. Just be sure to listen! Forgetting to wear the retainer can affect the placement of your teeth.
Why Do I Need One?
After you have braces, your teeth will not be used to their new position. Without a retainer, the teeth can gradually move back to their old spots. The retainer uses gentle pressure to help them stay in place. Over time, you will need to wear the retainer less frequently.
Important Care Tips
If you take good care of your retainer, it will stay in great shape. Be sure to clean your retainer daily to remove bacteria. While it might sound odd, don’t clean it with toothpaste! Toothpaste can break down the delicate surface of the retainer. Ask your dentist or orthodontist which products you should clean with. Also, be sure to store your retainer properly when not in use.
Needing a retainer is no big deal. In fact, it is a normal part of using braces! If you take good care of your retainer, then it will stay comfortable and easy to wear. If you have issues with your device, then we are here to help. Call Dr. Bar to learn more about life after braces.