Following your orthodontist’s instructions is key to having a successful orthodontic treatment period. One important directive you should follow is to wear your retainer device every day after your braces are removed. Find out why retainers are so important when you have your teeth aligned by orthodontist Dr. Kishawn Kole-James at Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI.
What Is a Retainer?
A retainer is an oral device that is worn after an orthodontic treatment is complete. Its purpose is to maintain and retain the new position of the teeth. This stage of the treatment, called retention, is essential after spending months or years wearing braces. You must wear your retainer all day for up to a year after your braces are taken off, then while sleeping every night after that. There are three different types of retainers:
- The traditional Hawley retainer, which is made of pink acrylic based attached to a metal framework that supports your teeth.
- The clear plastic retainer (which is similar to Invisalign clear braces).
- The fixed bonded retainer (a non-removable retainer, usually affixed to the back side of the lower front teeth).
Why Are Retainers Important?
Retainers serve a number of purposes after orthodontic treatment. For one, they keep your teeth in the same desired position. Even after wearing braces for a year or more, the teeth could quickly shift back out of alignment. Retainers also provide protection for your teeth. They can reduce the occurrence of enamel erosion due to bruxism (tooth grinding). Wearing a clear plastic retainer while drinking certain beverages could also reduce the chance of discoloration.
How Your Retainer Is Made
If you have an Invisalign treatment, the last tray that you’re prescribed by your Harper Woods orthodontist will be your retainer. For a standard braces treatment, your orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth after the brackets are removed so that a plastic retainer or Hawley-style retainer can be created.
Retain and Maintain Your New Smile
After spending so much time wearing braces, it’s very important to listen to your orthodontist's orders and wear your retainer religiously. It will pay off in the long-run. Call 248-313-4899 today to discuss orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kishawn Kole-James at Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI.