What is a retainer, and why do I need one?

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What is a retainer, and why do I need one?

Having your braces removed is an exciting day! At last your straight new smile is revealed! But wait...you aren't quite finished with your orthodontic treatment yet. Once your braces come off (or your aligner treatment is finished) you will need to wear a retainer for awhile. Today our BC orthodontists explain why.

You may have thought that once your braces came off that would be the end of your orthodontic treatment, but your orthodontist is telling you that you need to wear a retainer. We understand that it can take away from the excitement a bit, but the retainer portion of your treatment is just as important as the braces were.

Do I need a retainer?

Your braces or aligners have gradually moved your teeth, and they are finally where you want them. Now we need to make sure that they stay there! When your braces are first removed, or when your Invisalign treatment is complete, it takes some time for your teeth to settle into the soft tissue and jaw bone around them. By wearing a retainer you will help to prevent your teeth from shifting out of their new positions while they are settling in.

Just like your braces or aligners, your retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance designed to fit your unique smile. Traditional retainers are made from plastic and wire, and designed to hold your teeth in their new correct positions. Your retainer helps you to maintain the positive results of your orthodontic treatment. That's why it's important to wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist.

Will I need to wear my retainer for long?

Most patients will wear a retainer full time for about a year, although the time frame can vary quite a bit from one person to another. Your orthodontist will monitor the stability of your teeth as they settle-in and let you know when you can start wearing your retainer part time, or just at night.

Does wearing a retainer hurt?

You will likely feel some discomfort or pressure while wearing your retainer, but don't worry it's normal! The more consistently you wear your retainer, the more accustomed to it you will get, and the more comfortable it will become.

Do you have questions about your retainer, contact a BC Orthodontics Group member practice today! Our team is happy to answer your orthodontic treatment questions.

Ready to set off on the path to a beautiful new smile? Contact us today.