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Importance of a Retainer after Orthodontic Treatments

You’ve finally made it to the finish line with your orthodontic treatments. If you are like so many others, you’ve gone through at least two years of treatment. For some, it could be four years. Now, you have a beautiful set of pearly whites you can flash wherever you go.

Maintaining your healthy teeth includes making regular dentist visits, and most importantly, wearing your retainer.

Why Your Retainer is Important after Orthodontic Treatment

Many patients overlook the importance of their retainer. They wear it for a little while, and then they toss it.

When the orthodontist provides you with a retainer, you will be given specific instructions about how often you should wear it and how long.

You need to follow the recommendation for optimal results. Otherwise, you could see your teeth move back to their original position.

Without a Retainer, Your Teeth will Shift

Regardless of how long you have had braces or some other form of orthodontic adjustment, your teeth will want to shift back into their old position when your treatment is over.

Orthodontic treatment affects more than your teeth. The tissue and bones that surround your teeth have to adjust as well.

Wearing a retainer after treatment keeps your teeth in the proper position while the rest of your mouth is becoming stable. 

How long do You have to Wear a Retainer?

The specific length of time that you will need to wear your retainer will depend on your situation.

Keep in mind that the first month after your orthodontic treatment is critical. This is the period when your teeth would be most prone to movement.

Be sure to wear your retainer as often as the orthodontist specifies. Your teeth could move for the year following treatment.

As a rule of thumb, you should expect to wear your retainer for at least that amount of time. In many cases, the orthodontist may recommend that patients wear it for as long as they underwent orthodontic adjustments.

After that period, you could transition to wearing your retainer at night. In other cases, you may only need to wear your retainer day and night.

After going through orthodontic treatment, your retainer is a minor nuisance. Eventually, you will be able to switch to nights and you’ll forget it is even there.

If you are interested in braces or learning more about orthodontic treatments, contact the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman, DMD today.