The Role of a Retainer in Orthodontic Care

The Important Role a Retainer Plays

When you think about braces, an image of metal brackets and wires likely pops into your head. While those components do the heavy lifting to straighten your teeth, orthodontic treatment isn’t over once the braces come off. Orthodontists often recommend wearing a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting out of position.

What is a Retainer?

An orthodontic retainer is a custom-made metal or plastic appliance that patients wear to keep their teeth in the proper position. You’ve spent months – or years – wearing your braces. But teeth can try to return to their original position after removing the braces. The bone hasn’t adjusted to the new location of the teeth.

Wearing a retainer maintains their position until the bone forms around the teeth’s new position. Most patients must wear their retainer for a large portion of the day, gradually decreasing the time until it’s only needed at night.

Tips to Successfully Wear Your Retainer

Patients must properly care for their retainer to maintain good oral health and allow it to work as it should. Your orthodontist may give you the following instructions:

  • Keep the retainer clean
  • Wear the retainer as directed
  • Protect it from damage, including pets
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Rinsing the retainer off several times daily and properly storing it in a case will help prevent it from accumulating bacteria.

    Fight The Urge to Skip Wearing It

    Wearing a retainer can be a hassle, but it’s the best way to guarantee your teeth will remain straight. Most retainers today are lightweight and comfortable, and putting them in only takes a second. Take advantage of this small appliance and protect your beautiful smile.

    Keep Your Teeth Straight With Orthodontic Retainers

    Do you have questions about your retainer or need a new one made? Request an appointment at Empire Dental Specialty Group today! We have offices in Beavercreek and West Chester.