Congrats! You’re finished with treatment. Way to go! Now it’s time for the last (and most important!) step in the process – retainers!
The importance of retainers cannot be stressed enough. They are crucial for maintaining the alignment of your teeth and jaw after braces are removed. During the first two months post braces, the chances of your teeth shifting back in misaligned position are the highest. So you need to wear your retainers ALL the time for the first two months. After that, you need to wear them only at night, forever.
3 ADVANTAGES OF RETAINERS
If you religiously follow your orthodontist’s instruction of wearing retainers after braces, you will benefit in the following ways:
- They help you keep your teeth aligned after your braces come off. This ensures that your bite is correct and chewing is effective. Straight teeth also mean better oral care. So your chances of developing cavities are highly reduced.
- Correctly aligned teeth help you maintain good oral health which in turn drastically reduces your risk of diabetes. Poor oral health is often linked with increased chances of developing diabetes.
- Retainers help maintain the alignment of not only your teeth but jaw as well. This helps you breathe better. Retainers built to be worn at night are especially known to improve breathing.
TYPES OF RETAINERS
- Hawley – It’s one of the most common types of retainers and is made up of acrylic and metal. These are easily removable when you want to eat, brush or don’t need to wear them.
- Fixed Bonded –They are adhered to the back of your teeth and can only be removed professionally. They are most effective for teeth which shift easily.
- Clear –They are made from clear plastic and fit snugly over your teeth. They can also be removed while eating or whenever you don’t need to wear them.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING YOUR RETAINERS
Replacing your retainers can be really expensive. However, if you follow the retainers instructions mentioned below, you can keep them in good condition for years. We also offer retainer insurance and we will replace them for life!
- Wear your retainers at all times unless your orthodontist instructs otherwise
- Only remove your retainers before eating and brushing
- Retainers should also be removed before swimming. Our smile team in Fresno can help you learn more about the usage of retainers when it comes to other such activities
- You may need some time to get used to speaking and eating while wearing your retainers. The key here is to practice. Doing so will help you adapt to them faster
- Always remember to clean your retainers before using them. Do not put them in hot or boiling water to clean them as they can melt
- Do not keep your retainers lying around when not in use. Pets like dogs can easily destroy them within seconds. Always store your retainers in their case
- Handle your retainers with care as they are breakable
- Remember to bring your retainers when you come for follow-up appointments
- If you lose or break your retainers, immediately contact our smile team in Fresno
If you want to know more about retainers and their benefits, schedule an appointment with us at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno, CA. Our smile team will be happy to guide you about everything related to perfect smiles!
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