Do I need to get a retainer after braces?

You’ve finally made it to the finish line. After months or years, your braces are coming off. You get to fully appreciate your beautiful smile. As you enjoy the moment, don’t forget about a retainer. As much as you may want to move on without one, it is an important part of your orthodontic correction. Consider it the final stretch in your treatment plan.

Why do you need a retainer?

Once your braces come off, it will take time to make sure the tissues and bones in your mouth maintain their position. It took time to move them into place, but your teeth are going to tend to try and go back to the way they were if you do not wear your retainer. A retainer will hold your teeth in the proper position while they settle into place.

How long do I need to wear a retainer?

The length of treatment time for a retainer will depend on the unique situation. Sometimes, it may be best to wear it for at least a year. Other times, it may be advised to wear a retainer for the same amount of time that the braces were worn. In many cases, it is advised to wear it at night for the rest of your life. You will need to talk to our orthodontists to find out what is best for you.

Take good care of your retainer

You should clean your retainer daily. You can use mouthwash or toothpaste to freshen it up and clear off any debris. If you are going to play contact sports, you can remove it until the activity is over. The same rule of thumb can be followed when you have a special occasion. Unless you have a retainer that is fixed to your teeth, you can enjoy a bit more flexibility with this orthodontic appliance. Be sure to put it back in your mouth and wear it for the recommended amount of time when special events are over.

Talk to our family orthodontists in Oak Lawn, IL

During a consultation at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn, you can express any concerns you may have about getting a retainer after braces. Be sure to ask questions so that you are well-informed. Remember that this is the last part of your treatment plan that will help you to make sure you maintain your beautiful smile for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation appointment to learn more.