Why Should I Wear My Retainer?

Posted by Ousama El-Hillal | June 14, 2015

You’re finally over and done with your orthodontics treatment – well, not quite. You still need to wear a retainer. You’re probably wondering just how important wearing a retainer is. Well, it’s very important. Whether you had clear braces, Invisalign braces or metal braces, you’ll definitely need to wear retainers. Initially, you’ll probably be required to wear the retainers 12 hour to almost 24 hours a day, every day. The amount of time required to wear retainer is based on a number of variables that include the severity of the problem faced initially, the age of the patient, and whether or not the retainers are required to help complete the positioning of the teeth in question.

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainers
The importance of wearing retainers once the braces are removed, for both adults and children, can’t be emphasized enough. Imagine what it would be like to finally get your braces off, after a year or two of wear, just to have them start shifting again. Well, thatís exactly what would happen if you didn’t wear your retainer. After all of your efforts, your perfect smile will be gone, leading to even more orthodontic treatments. To avoid this, isn’t it worth wearing a retainer to preserve the perfect smile?

Wear as Directed
If you’re prescribed a bonded retainer, you wonít need to be concerned about wearing them the appropriate amount of time because they’re fixed retainers which means that they always remain in your mouth. On the other hand, if you’re prescribed a metal or clear retainer, it’s up to you to stick to the orthodontist prescribed program. How the retainer is used varies from person to person with some being required to wear their retainer all day for a period of time, and others only at night. In either case, the most important objective is ensuring that it’s worn as directed.

In the same way that the teeth shift into a better position as part of your orthodontic treatment, they will continue to shift after treatment, especially for child and teens as they grow. Wearing a retainer as instructed will help prevent shifting teeth, ensuring that your smile is as beautiful as the day you got your braces off. Patients that stick to the dentist prescribed program (12 to 22 hours a day wear), typically 3 to 6 months, will be able to switch to only nighttime use after just 6 months. The nighttime only program is highly recommended for the remaining 6 months and/or until 12 months of daily wear have been completed.

If you have any concerns about whether or not your child or you will be able to successfully wear a retainer as directed, share your concerns with an orthodontist. They’ll be able to explore alternatives that may be better options. Keep in mind, the most important thing is to preserve that perfect smile following the orthodontics treatment. Wearing your retainer as directed is the only way to make sure that this happens.

Ousama El-Hillal
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics, Your Peoria Orthodontist with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.

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