There is a saying in dentistry that goes, “You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.” Orthodontics work in a similar way, in that you only have to regulate the teeth you want to remain straight. To ensure the movements made by orthodontic treatment are maintained, wearing a retainer is a necessary next step. Below, our experienced Phoenix and Scottsdale-area orthodontists outline what to expect when it’s time to retain your orthodontia results.
The biggest takeaway patients should understand is that failing to wear their retainer, especially within six months post-treatment, can cause teeth misalignments and bite irregularities to relapse. This means all of the various obligations spent with corrective orthodontics, such as the Invisalign® system and/or more traditional types of braces, may be wasted by losing the end result. Although very different, both of these treatments will most likely require a retainer to maintain the new, straighter positioning once the orthodontic improvements are complete. When it is time to move on to a removable retainer, the process will likely include the following guidelines:
- Wear the retainer full-time for about one to six months as directed by your orthodontist (except during meals, brushing/flossing, contact sports, and swimming)
- Often thereafter, retainers may only need to be worn at night while sleeping
- Never discard or completely stop wearing your retainer
- Always follow the exact, personalized instructions from your orthodontist
- Contact your orthodontist immediately if your retainer is lost or damaged
Generally, the same guidelines apply for children and adults. By committing to wearing your retainer for orthodontic maintenance, it is significantly more likely that you will be able to preserve the new and improved position of your teeth well into the future. Our orthodontic team takes great pride in delivering renewed smiles and want to see long-lasting, successful results for each patient.
For more information about orthodontic treatments, or to schedule an office visit at Murphy Orthodontics, please contact us today!Previous Post Next Post