Why Do I Need a Retainer?

Why Do I Need a Retainer?
Posted on 04/27/2018
Once you’re finished wearing braces or Invisalign, you’ll be thrilled to see your new smile you’ve worked hard to achieve! However, your treatment isn’t over yet because you’ll be starting the retention phase of your treatment when we’ll give you a retainer to wear. To help you understand retention and the importance of wearing a retainer, we’ve put together the following information about this important final phase of your orthodontic treatment.

What’s the Purpose of a Retainer?

While the purpose of your braces or Invisalign aligners is to properly align your teeth, your retainer is designed to maintain the alignment of your new smile. When you put the retainer over your teeth, it works to retain the new positions your teeth are in while helping your jaw bone, cheeks, and lips adapt to the newly adjusted alignment of your teeth. In short, your retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting back to the positions they were in before you started treatment at Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics!

How Long Will I Need to Wear a Retainer?

You’ll need to wear your retainers at all times for the first six months after braces or Invisalign to ensure that your teeth won’t shift out of place. This means you must have your retainers in your mouth 24/7. However, you can take it out when eating and drinking and when brushing and flossing your teeth. Once you’ve worn your retainers 24/7 for six months, we’ll tell you to wear it at least every other night for an indefinite period of time.

What Happens If I Forget to Wear My Retainer?

If you forget to wear your retainer for just one day, nothing will happen. However, if you get into the habit of not wearing your retainer at all, your teeth will move back into their original positions, undoing all the time and effort you put into your orthodontic treatment. For instance, if your teeth were crooked before you started wearing braces or aligners, they will quickly become crooked again if you fail to wear your retainer.

Dr. Lunsford and Dr. McCaffrey often provide treatment to adult patients who are undergoing their second round of treatment because they didn’t wear their retainers during their initial treatment. If you want to avoid paying for treatment all over again in the future, you need to follow all the directions we give you about wearing your retainers once you’re finished with braces or aligners.

Is it Hard to Get Used to Wearing a Retainer?

No, it’s not. You’ve already spent quite a bit of time wearing braces or aligners, so you know what it feels like to have appliances on your teeth. Your retainers will be custom-made just for you, so you can expect it to fit comfortably over your teeth.

Contact Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics about Retention

We want you to enjoy your straight and healthy new smile for the rest of your life so be sure to follow all the instructions we give you about wearing your retainer! If you have any questions about wearing a retainer or need more information about the retention phase of treatment, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help!