Having a beautiful smile and healthy teeth takes work. Braces and aligners are part of the process to get to that beautiful smile and straight teeth. After the braces come off, though, that work is not done.
Wearing a retainer is the next step — and a very important one — to achieving a long-term healthy smile. Retainers come in two forms: fixed and removable. At Lansdowne Orthodontics, Dr. Navin Hukmani recommends the right type for your orthodontic needs, and then creates a custom-made retainer for your mouth.
A well-fitted retainer means it’s secure in your mouth and more comfortable to wear. If it’s comfortable, you’ll be more likely to wear it as instructed.
Why do you need a retainer after braces?
Braces do a lot more than just straighten your teeth. They give you a better bite so you can chew food more effectively. Chewing your food properly ensures that you get all the needed nutrients from it. Braces can also correct speech issues and make your teeth easier to keep clean. Having cleaner teeth means less plaque buildup and fewer cavities.
But if you don’t wear your retainer after the braces come off, you risk losing all the good work your braces accomplished. Teeth can move, and wearing your retainer helps ensure that they stay in the place the braces or aligners moved them to. And wearing a retainer gives your bones time to rebuild and stabilize after your teeth have moved to your corrected bite..
The bottom line: After all the hard work you put in going to your orthodontist every four to six weeks and caring for your braces, it would be a shame to have your teeth move by not wearing a retainer.
How to care for your retainer
One of the most important things you can do to care for your retainer is to not lose it. A retainer that you can remove while you eat can easily get tossed in the garbage with your food scraps. Remember to put your retainer in its case when you’re not using it to prevent loss and damage.
Another vital aspect of caring for your retainer is to keep it clean, as you would keep your teeth clean. Rinse and lightly brush it with a small amount of toothpaste after every meal. If your retainer gets lost or broken or begins to feel uncomfortable, make an appointment with Dr. Hukmani to get it replaced.
Finally, remember to wear your retainer as instructed. It can’t help keep your teeth in place if it stays in the case.
For more information on the importance of wearing your retainer and how to care for it, call us at Lansdowne Orthodontics to make an appointment today.