At Parkcrest Dental Group, we want you to keep your beautiful smile as long as possible. After you get your braces off, our orthodontist, Dr. Steven Harrison, will give you instructions for wearing retainers after braces.
Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about retainers after your braces come off.
What is the purpose of a retainer after braces?
Wearing a retainer after braces helps to keep your teeth straight after your orthodontist removes your braces. If you don’t wear them on your upper and lower jaw, your teeth will gradually return to their previous positions over time.
It’s okay to miss a day or two without wearing them, but if you don’t wear your retainers for an extended period of time, your teeth will continue to shift.
How often should I wear my retainer after braces?
Your orthodontist will instruct you on how often you should wear it. In general, you may have to wear a retainer every day during the day for as long as you had your braces in. For example, if you wore braces for two years, you might need to wear a retainer every day for two years.
Eventually, your orthodontist will recommend wearing your retainer only at night. This is crucial because you will need to wear your appliance for life while you sleep to make sure teeth stay straight for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
When should I take my retainer out?
Following the removal of your braces, you should only remove your retainer to eat food, drink beverages, and clean your teeth until your orthodontist instructs you to only wear it at night.
Can I brush my retainer with toothpaste?
No, because toothpaste can actually be abrasive and cause scratches on the acrylic material. Toothpaste may harbor bacterial growth in your mouth.
Make sure you brush your appliance with a toothbrush and water daily for best results.
What can I use to clean my retainer?
Special products include dissolvable tablets or powders that create a liquid rinse when mixed with water. Follow the instructions on the packaging for best results.
In general, you should soak your retainer in the solution for 15 minutes and then thoroughly rinse it in water.
Does my retainer need adjustments?
Yes. Occasionally, your orthodontist may adjust the wires to make sure your appliance fits properly. If it breaks, make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as you can. Although a few weeks without a retainer are okay if you’re just wearing it at night, going several months without one may make it harder to keep teeth straight.