The braces have come off and now you’re ready for the freedom and enjoyment your new smile brings! But have you considered the aftercare your smile requires? Retainers provide stability for the jaw and help your teeth to stay in place. One way to think through the purpose of a retainer is to think of them as a steady support, after your braces did the heavy lifting for the past year (or more)!
Retainers can seem daunting if you dread having one more thing to add to your nightly routine, but rest assured, there are options and information available to help you decide what type of retainer will suit you best.
Benefit of Retainers
While you may not be overjoyed at the prospect of another object in your mouth after finally having your braces removed, rest assured that wearing your retainer will be the best post-braces care you can give your smile. If you forget or choose not to wear your retainer following braces treatment, you run the risk of your teeth backtracking to their original misshapen form.
This is the last phase of the orthodontic work and is potentially the most important. Otherwise the work of the braces will be wasted.
Hawley Retainers are the most popular choice of retainer due to their ease of use. Most commonly they are made of plastic or acrylic material attached to a wire. The Hawley retainer is removable so you can wear it day, night and everything in between if needed.
Clear retainers have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their discreet nature. Adults especially are drawn to clear retainers since they can be easily disguised and appear more professional. Of course, these retainers may be worn whenever convenient for you.
These thin retainers are certainly convenient since you will never have to set a reminder to stick them in before bed. Since they are bonded to the back of your teeth with adhesive they may be slightly painful when you are first acclimating to the tension they incur in your jaw. The downside to a permanent retainer is that plaque and tartar easily build up around the wire and create more difficulty in cleaning.
Permanent retainers can be removed if absolutely necessary, but only a dental professional should perform the work.
How Long Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?
The length of time a person should wear their retainer is entirely dependent upon the individual and the amount of work their teeth need to stay in alignment. Quite commonly, it is recommended that you should wear your Hawley (removable) retainer several hours a day, even constantly for a period of time after first having braces removed.
Things to Watch Out For
Your orthodontist will advise you on the best route going forward as you choose your retainer. The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow their advice. Be mindful of anything chewy you put in your mouth such as candy, gum or anything that will stick to the retainer. Use care when removing your retainer to ensure the longevity of it.
Trusted Orthodontics Treatment In Fort Worth
Ahava Orthodontics has been a trusted and preferred orthodontist in Fort Worth for many years. “Ahava” is the love that gives and is a value at our core. Now that your beautiful new smile is ready to show the world, be sure to choose the retainer that will best suit you. If you have more questions or you would like to ask about a consultation, send us a message! We love to support our clients at every point in their journey to a beautiful smile.