Retainers can help your teeth stay in the positions we prescribe. Most patients don’t realize that when they get their braces off, they’re not actually done with treatment. It’s important to help your teeth “remember” where they’re supposed to be by stabilizing the bones and ligaments. Otherwise, teeth can slowly shift back over time. This phase of treatment is called the retention phase.
To make sure you get the best results, we advise all of our patients to wear their retainers for the length of time we prescribe. While it may seem like an annoyance when you’re ready to be finished with treatment, it’s imperative that you follow our guidelines. Shifting teeth can cause you to have a longer treatment time if braces are necessary again later on. You will also incur additional costs to re-straighten your teeth and start treatment over again.
When to Wear Your Retainer
The length of your retention phase depends greatly on your individual needs. Some patients may need to wear retainers 24 hours a day for a few years, while others only need to wear them at night for a few months. We can determine the length of your retention phase when you finish treatment.
During the retention phase, you will need to remove your appliances to eat and brush and floss your teeth. To keep them from getting damaged, we strongly encourage patients to keep them in a safe place, like a case, when not in your mouth. A lost or broken appliance may require additional payments.
Keep Your Smile Straight
Orthodontic treatment is a wonderful investment in your oral health, but no one wants to start the process over again. Be proactive and wear your retainers to keep your new, beautiful smile just the way it is! If you have any questions about the retention phase, contact our office.