The day has finally arrived – the orthodontist has taken your braces off, and you’re ready to show off your brand-new smile.
But even the best orthodontic work can’t last forever. Braces set your teeth straight, but after they are taken off, your teeth will slowly shift back over time. Without continued support, all the work of your braces will be undone.
The purpose of a retainer is to maintain your results. A retainer is important because it holds your teeth in place, preventing them from moving again. If your orthodontist has recommended a retainer, it is very important to wear it exactly as instructed.
Straight Teeth are Healthy Teeth
Braces and retainers combine to make your teeth straight. While most people think of the cosmetic improvements, having straight teeth is also good for your health.
Straight teeth are easier to clean than crooked or overlapping teeth. It is much easier for the bristles of your toothbrush to reach between straight teeth and to sweep away bacteria from every tooth surface.
Additionally, straight teeth have fewer pockets for bacteria to hide in. Less bacteria means less plaque buildup, which ultimately results in better oral hygiene, less bad breath and a healthier mouth.
For these reasons, wearing your retainer correctly is important for your health. A retainer will keep your teeth as straight as the day your braces came off, which is a major boon for your overall health.
Wearing Your Retainer saves Money
Orthodontic work can be expensive. If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth will shift and move in your mouth. After a few years have passed, it is likely that more work will be needed to return your smile to the way you want it. That means spending additional money for another round of braces.
Choosing the Right Retainer
An important part of wearing your retainer is choosing the right one for your lifestyle. Work with your orthodontist to select the right one for you.
Fixed retainers are thin metal wires that permanently attach to the back of your teeth. They can’t be seen by others and never come out, which makes them simple to wear correctly. However, food can get trapped between the wire and your teeth, so cleaning it carefully is a must.
Removable retainers can be easily taken out. Many people remove them daily for an easy clean. They can also be more easily adjusted by your orthodontist. However, because they can be removed, they can also be forgotten. If you’re using a removable retainer, it will be very important to find a way to remind yourself to wear it daily. Otherwise, your teeth will shift back to where they were before braces.
Wear Your Retainer to Keep Your Smile Beautiful
Braces do the hard work up front. But once they are off, your teeth will naturally shift back to their original placement. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting, which makes them a critical part of orthodontic care.
Work with your orthodontist to select the right retainer for your lifestyle. If you make a commitment to wearing it exactly as instructed, your smile will stay in tip-top shape for years to come.