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Young Woman Wearing Braces

Will I Have to Wear Retainers after Braces?

If you’ve just finished orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering if you’ll have to wear retainers after braces. Retainers are custom devices that hold your teeth in place and keep your bite in check after treatment. In most cases, retainers are necessary for long-term success after braces. However, the type of retainer and how often you’ll have to wear it will vary depending on your individual situation.

Keep reading to learn more information about retainers and what to expect after orthodontic treatment!

What Are Retainers and Why Do You Need Them?

Retainers use plastic or metal wires that fit snugly around your teeth. They come in both removable and fixed varieties. Once you finish wearing braces, your orthodontist will likely prescribe a retainer to hold your newly straightened teeth in place. This is because it takes time for bones and muscles around your teeth to adjust to the new positioning.

Furthermore, wearing a retainer helps to ensure that your teeth don’t shift back into their previous positions.

Types of Retainers and How to Wear Them

There are two main types of retainers: removable and fixed. The type of retainer that you’ll need will depend on the severity of your orthodontic case, as well as your personal preferences.

Removable retainers are easy to take in and out. This makes them a popular choice for patients wanting to remove retainers when eating, drinking, and brushing their teeth. However, because they’re not attached to your teeth, it’s essential to be extra careful not to lose them.

Fixed retainers bond to the back of your teeth, making them more secure. However, they can be more challenging to clean and may require special flossing devices.

How Long Will You Have to Wear Retainers after Braces?

The length of time you’ll need to wear retainers will vary depending on the severity of your original tooth misalignment. However, in most cases, retainers need to be worn for a lifetime.

Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how long to wear your retainer and when you can take it out. It’s essential to follow these guidelines to avoid shifting your teeth.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Retainers after Orthodontic Treatment?

Wearing retainers is important for maintaining your new, straight smile. However, retainers offer other benefits as well. For example, since retainers keep your teeth straight, they can help to:

  • Improve your speech
  • Reduce your risk of gum disease
  • Decrease your likelihood of getting cavities

Overall, retainers are a small price to pay for a lifetime of healthy, straight teeth!

The Bottom Line

In most cases, retainers are necessary after braces to keep your newly straightened teeth in place. The type of retainer you need will depend on the severity of your orthodontic case and your personal preferences. In general, retainers are for life and you need to replace them every year. Retainers made of plastic will turn yellowish if you don’t clean and sanitize them properly. Retainers are like car tires that need to be replaced when they wear out or change their shape. However, the length of time you’ll need to wear them and how often can vary depending on your individual situation.

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment in general, be sure to ask Dr. Yazji. She will be happy to create an orthodontic treatment plan that’s right for you! Book a complimentary consultation here. Dr. Yazji Contemporary Orthodontics offers three convenient locations in South Florida: Weston, Brickell, and West Miami.

About the Author Maria Yazji

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