Why You Shouldn't Brush Off Wearing Your Retainer

If you have questions about braces, clear braces, clear aligners, or retainers, our compassionate care providers can help. Ge

Finally! You’re done with braces or clear aligners. Your teeth are straight, giving you the perfect, beautiful smile of your dreams. The last thing you want is for your teeth to move out of their beautiful new position. At LM Orthodontics in McLean, Virginia, we understand. 

Our team of skilled orthodontists wants to help you maintain your even smile and keep your teeth from drifting out of position. We offer several options for retainers, as well as advice on how to keep your new smile intact.

Read on to learn why you shouldn’t brush off wearing your retainer.

Why do I need a retainer?

After you have orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, they don’t stay put. Over time, your teeth tend to move out of their new positions. The risk is greatest immediately after your braces come off. That’s where retainers come in. 

Retainers do what their name suggests: They retain the position of your teeth. Wearing a retainer helps keep your teeth in place during the months and years after your orthodontic treatment. 

Does the type of retainer make a difference?

The kind of retainer you have influences how many hours a day it should be worn. At LM Orthodontics, we offer several types of retainers depending on what kind of dental work you’ve had or how well your current retainer is working.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are typically made from wire and are attached to the back of your teeth using bonding material. They stay in place permanently unless your orthodontist removes them. If a fixed retainer loosens, your LM Orthodontics specialist can reattach it quickly and easily. 

Removable retainers

Removable retainers come in two varieties: Hawley and Essix. Hawley retainers are acrylic and attach to wires fitted around the back of your teeth. Essix retainers resemble clear aligners and fit over your teeth.

Vivera® retainers

Vivera® retainers are made from the same SmartTrack plastic as Invisalign® aligners and are more durable than other clear retainers. We let you how often and how long you need to wear them. This type of retainer ensures your straight smile will last for years to come.  

Do I have to wear my retainer all the time?

If you have a fixed retainer, you’ll wear it all the time. For removable retainers, your provider at LM Orthodontics will recommend a plan. You typically wear your retainer as much as possible for the first few months after your teeth adjustment is complete. Later, you’ll probably be able to switch to wearing your retainer at night only. Eventually, you’ll shift to wearing it for just a few hours a day.

What happens if I don’t wear my retainer?

When you fail to wear a retainer, your teeth move out of alignment. This means wasted time and money. That’s why you should follow your orthodontist's recommendations carefully. If you have problems remembering to wear your retainer, talk to us about opting for a fixed solution.  

It’s also important to continue to practice good oral health while wearing a retainer. Without good oral health care, retainers can trap bacteria around your teeth and gums, leading to cavities and gum disease. Keep your smile straight and bright with retainers and good oral hygiene.

Ready to get the smile of your dreams?

If you have questions about braces, clear braces, clear aligners, or retainers, our compassionate care providers can help. Get started on the path to a straighter smile, and contact our office to schedule an appointment today.  

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