Think You Can Skip The Retainer Phase Of Orthodontics? Think Again!
We know, you’ve just gotten through a long and grueling journey with your orthodontics, and now you’ve found out that your dentist wants you to wear a retainer. You’re probably wondering whether its necessary, your teeth look great now after all and if maybe they’re trying to get more money out of the insurance company. Unfortunately, retainers are a reality if you want to keep the benefits of all the hard work you’ve done over the previous months or years.
Does It Matter What Kind Of Orthodontics I Had?
It doesn’t. Whether you had traditional wire braces or used the Invisalign system, the overall results are going to be the same. Your teeth will try to move back to the position they were in initially, and the retainer is going to be an essential part of ensuring it doesn’t. While retainers may not have to be forever, they’re crucial in retraining your body to keep your teeth where they are now.
How Long Will I Need To Use A Retainer?
For the first six months following the completion of your orthodontic treatment, you should anticipate wearing a retainer constantly. It’s essential that you wear them during this time if you want to retain your new smile. You’ll be wearing your retainer for 22 hours out of every day, generally only removing it for eating and brushing your teeth. Retainers will typically be something you need to have for the rest of your life, though how often you wear them will be reduced.
What Types Of Retainer Are There?
While retainers all perform the same job, there is more than one option depending on the work that was performed and your preferences. For those who want to have a ‘fire and forget’ form of retainer, there is the bonded retainer, which is a wire secured to the back of your teeth that will hold them in place. Depending on your case you may have them for two to five years. Hawley retainers are the ones that most people are familiar with and consist of an adjustable wire frame that fits around your teeth. These retainers need to be replaced every three to five years. Essix retainers are clear and can be snapped on to sit on top of your teeth. These require additional care but can last up to three years if cared for properly.
While you do have a choice when it comes to your retainers, the final decision should be made by your dentist based on your desires and the needs of your treatment. If you’re coming to the end of your orthodontic treatment, then you’re going to want to schedule an appointment with your dentist. If you’re looking for a new dentist pick up the phone and give Dr. Gregg Tartakow a call at the Orthodontic Center of Santa Monica. They’ve been serving patients in the Santa Monica area with great orthodontic and dental services and will be happy to work with you and your family to determine the right treatments for you.