It's an exciting day when you have your braces removed, finally your straight new smile is revealed! But wait...you aren't quite finished with your orthodontic treatment yet...now you'll need to wear a retainer for awhile. Our Coquitlam orthodontists explain what retainers are and why you need to wear one after your braces come off.
You thought that once your braces came off that would be the end of your orthodontic treatment but now your orthodontist is telling you that you need to wear a retainer. We know that it's a bit of a downer but the retainer portion of your treatment is just as important as the braces part.
Why do I need a retainer?
Now that your teeth are where you want them, we need to make sure that they stay there! When your braces are first removed it takes some time for them to settle 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 settling-in phase.
Your retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance made from plastic and wire, fitted to your smile, and designed to keep your teeth in the correct positions you achieved through wearing your braces. Your retainer will help maintain the positive results of your orthodontic treatment. That's why wearing your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist is so important!
How long will I need to wear my retainer?
Typically patients wear a retainers full time for about a year, but the time frame can vary quite a bit from one person to another. Your orthodontist will carefully monitor the stability of your teeth as they settle-in and let you know when you can start wearing your retainer part time, or just at night.
Is wearing a retainer comfortable?
You'll likely feel some soreness, discomfort or pressure while wearing your retainer, but don't worry it's normal! The more consistently you wear your retainer, the more accustomed to it you will get, and the more comfortable it will become.