How long do you have to wear the retainer after braces?

Braces are important to correct a variety of conditions such as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, misalignment of teeth, and jaws. These types of braces typically help to align and straighten your teeth perfectly. Moreover, the time you need to wear braces depends on how much correction your teeth require. While on average it is range from one year to three years.
Removing your braces after a month or a few years is certainly a reason to smile but to keep that smile but don’t forget about the retainer. A retainer is a custom-made dental appliance that is worn after braces to maintain the correct position of the teeth. The purpose of a retainer is to hold the teeth in place and prevent them from shifting back from their original position after treatment. Wearing the retainer as recommended by the dentist is important for ensuring the long-term success of the treatment.
By not wearing the retainer after braces as directed by your dentist, your teeth may shift back to their original position. This can result in a relapse of the condition. Failing to wear a retainer as suggested may also lead to increased dental costs in the future. So, a retainer is a crucial part of alignment and straightening.

What are the effects or consequences of not wearing the retainer after braces?

  • If you are not wearing your retainers after braces, you could face several consequences. Your teeth may shift back to their original position and you may begin to require dental treatment again. Here, some of the effects of not wearing a retainer after braces are as follows:
  • Not wearing retainers can lead to a relapse in your teeth’ positions. This implies that they tend to go back to their starting position.
  • By not wearing retainers, the teeth may shift into the original position which may become worse than before.
  • The bite tends to shift back if retainers are not worn. This can lead to uncomfortable sensitivity for patients while biting.
  • If you skip retainers, you risk losing all the dental progress you’ve just made.
  • All the time and money spent has been wasted if you don’t wear retainers and again patients must pay for a new round of treatment

How to take care of your retainer?

To take care of your retainer, you should follow these tips:
Clean the retainer regularly
Retainers need to be cleaned regularly like teeth. Brush the retainer gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water after each meal to remove plaque and food particles.

Store the retainer properly
Retainers need to be stored properly when you are not using them. It should keep in its protective case to prevent damage or warping.

Wear the retainer often
Retainers need to be worn often (24 hours a day). While eating and cleaning you don’t have to wear them. But remember don’t skip wearing them because the retainers only work if you use them often.

Avoid harmful substances
Do not expose the retainer to hot or heat such as direct sunlight, near the stove or heater, and hot water which can melt or wrap plastic material. And also avoid consuming sugary or sticky foods that can damage your retainer.

Visit your dentist
Visit your dentist regularly to have the retainer checked. This may help you to make any necessary adjustments or repairs regarding your retainer.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your retainer stays clean and functional which helped you to maintain your straight and healthy smile.

How to clean a retainer?

To clean a retainer you should follow these steps:
Step I: Rinse it thoroughly under lukewarm water to remove any debris before it hardens.
Step II: Fill a cup with lukewarm water and add a denture cleaner tablet or mild soap.
Step III: Soak the retainer for about 15-20 minutes.
Step IV: Brush the retainer gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and also pay extra attention to any hard-to-reach areas or noticeable plaque build-up.
Step V: Rinse the retainer thoroughly under lukewarm water and lastly dry the retainer with a clean cloth.

NOTE: Avoid using hot water which can warp the retainer and don’t use toothpaste which can scratch the surface

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