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What is a Retainer, and Why Do You Need One?

Posted in Braces Basics, Articles

What is a Retainer, and Why Do You Need One?

At last, the day has come: you're getting your braces removed! But just when you thought your orthodontic treatment was over, your orthodontist tells you that you need to wear a retainer!

We really do feel for you, but the retainer portion of your treatment is just as important as the braces part.

Why do you need a retainer?

Retainer are custom-made orthodontic appliances, constructed from plastic and wire. It is designed to maintain the new, correct positions of your teeth that was achieved with your braces.

When your braces are first removed, it will take your your teeth some time to settle back into the soft tissue and jaw bone around them. Wearing a retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting out of their new positions during this period.

To maintain the positive results of your orthodontic treatment, it's important to wear your retainer as prescribed.

How long should your retainer be worn?

Most patients wear their retainers full time for about a year, but the time frame can vary quite a bit from person to person.

During this time, your orthodontist will carefully monitor the stability of your teeth, and make a recommendation about when you can start wearing it part time, or just at night.

Are retainers comfortable?

You may occasionally feel some soreness, discomfort or pressure while wearing your retainer. This is normal, so don’t worry!

In the end, the more consistently you wear your retainer, the more comfortable it will be.

If you have have any questions about your retainer, feel free to contact the Austin Heights Orthodontics team today!