July 23, 2013

Why Your Retainers Are So Important

Dr. Peralta and his team at our Seattle orthodontic office are always pleased when our patients are getting their braces removed as it’s an exciting day for both the patient and us! However, just because you’re no longer wearing braces doesn’t mean that your orthodontic treatment is complete. In order to maintain your straight and beautiful new smile, your retainer must be worn consistently as it holds your teeth in place while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt to their new positions.

Why You Should Wear Your Retainer Consistently as Instructed

When you get your braces removed, your teeth will try to return to the original positions. This is why it’s an absolute ‘must’ that you wear your retainer as instructed by Dr. Peralta. You will most likely have to wear your retainer full time for six months after you get your braces off to ensure that your teeth get used to being in their new positions. This means you should wear it all day and all night, even to sleep. Otherwise, your teeth will simply move back into the positions they were in before you had braces put on, which means all of your orthodontic treatment will have been in vain, not to mention the cost you’ve paid for your braces!

Use Your Case!

On the day your braces are removed, we’ll instruct you to wear your retainer full time and will tell you that you should take your retainer out when eating. Remember to put it in the case when it’s not in your mouth as it’s very easy to lose a retainer in a school lunchroom or restaurant. Keeping your retainer in the case when you’re eating will also help ensure that your retainer doesn’t become damaged or even chewed on by your pet as dogs tend to enjoy chomping on retainers!

Most of our patients are instructed to wear their retainers full time, day and night for six months and then only at night for the rest of their lives. While wearing your retainer for the rest of your life may sound extreme, it’s important because as you age your teeth could slowly shift back into the positions they were in before your braces were put on.

We want you to be just as happy and proud about your straight new smile years from now as you were the day you got your braces removed! It will become second nature for you to wear your retainer regularly and by doing so, you’ll be able to maintain your amazing new smile for the rest of your life!