Having their braces removed is a long-awaited relief for many people—a sense of liberation. However, many people are dissatisfied when they remember that they now have to wear a retainer.

The best way to convey the sensation is that of a prisoner breaking out from their jail only to be stuck in a little larger one.

While wearing a retainer isn’t particularly enjoyable, it is required. Today, go over some of why you should wear your orthodontic retainer and how long it will be in your mouth.

First and foremost, let’s dispel the myth that retainers are exclusively worn after braces. Retainers must be worn following any position-correcting treatment or procedure, whether it be Invisalign or surgery.

When the position of your teeth has only recently been fixed, the gum and bone that holds them in place aren’t strong enough to undertake the duty on their own—at least not yet—so retainers provide temporary support.

Eating and talking will progressively strengthen your teeth’ supporting tissue, preventing them from reverting to their previous position.

Your teeth will eventually move back if you don’t use your retainer, making the entire procedure a waste of time and money.

Retainer orthodontics and home insurance are similar in that they both strive to protect your investment.

Most teenagers and adults can wear retainers to bed and between meals for the first few months as the supporting tissue strengthens.

You can wear your retainer less frequently as your teeth settle into their new position. However, keeping them on longer is beneficial. 

It is unnecessary to wear your retainer every day, but the more you wear it, the better.

After years of wearing braces and retainers, you probably wonder if your mouth will ever be free of restraints.

After the first year, wear your retainer at least a couple of evenings a week to keep your teeth in their existing place. While it isn’t as effective as wearing your retainers for the entire week, it is preferable not to wear them.

Suppose you notice that your teeth are constantly shifting. Even when you only remove your retainer for brief periods, you should have your retainer re-evaluated by an orthodontist in Manassas, VA. 

Your retainer may need to be modified so that your teeth stay in place even while you’re not using it.

As a general guideline, you should keep your retainer on for longer than you did your braces. For example, if you had braces for a year, you should wear your retainer as much as possible for a little more than a year before considering a reduction.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the severity of the correction is a consideration. If your teeth were crooked before you had braces, they might be more prone to shifting, so you should keep your retainer on for longer after you take them off.

If your tooth adjustments were small, on the other hand, you could get away with wearing your retainer less.

We understand that braces and retainers aren’t fun, but it’ll be worth it once you have the confident smile you’ve always desired.

It’s preferable if you already know which orthodontic retainer will work best for you at this point. To see if retainers are for you, make an appointment with our orthodontist in Manassas, VA. We at Solarte Orthodontics are excited to meet you!