Now that you’ve finished your orthodontic treatment and had your braces removed, you can enjoy your new smile! While you enjoy your beautiful smile, keep in mind that having your braces removed is not the final step in the treatment process.

The final step to your orthodontic treatment is to maintain your new smile through retention.

What is a Retainer?

Orthodontic retainer

Whether you used Invisalign or traditional metal braces, once you’ve completed the first phase of your orthodontic treatment and had your braces removed, it is crucial to retain your smile. This retention process involves being fitted with a retainer. A retainer is a removable device that you wear to keep your teeth aligned in their new position.

If you don’t use a retainer, your teeth can shift back into their original position causing you to lose your stunning results.

How Often Do You Have to Wear Your Retainer?

When you first start wearing your retainer, you will need to wear it for most of the day, removing it for eating or brushing your teeth, much like Invisalign trays.  Eventually, you will only have to wear your retainer at night.

There is no way to maintain stability without retention, so in most cases wearing your retainers every night for your lifetime is the best way to keep your teeth in their new position.

It is important to remember that your jawbones are living structures. This means that your bones are not cemented in place and will move in response to pressure in your mouth. Your jaw will always experience pressure from the grinding of your teeth, your cheeks, and your tongue, so you must consistently wear your retainers to prevent movement from this pressure and to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment.

Types of Retainers

At King Orthodontics, we offer our patients metal or clear fitted retainers. We can help you determine the best retainer option to fit your needs for comfort and cost.

Fixed retainers are another option for keeping your teeth in place. A fixed retainer is made of small, flat wires that are bonded to the back of the front teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth, where crowding typically returns and can be used in conjunction with clear retainers.

In addition to wearing your retainers as instructed by your orthodontist, it is also essential to properly maintain and care for your retainers because they can be costly to replace. Cleaning your retainer and storing it in its case can help your retainers last longer and prevent it from being lost when it is not being worn.

Contact King Orthodontics today to learn more about our orthodontic treatment options or to schedule an appointment!