CONGRATULATIONS! You put a lot of effort into reaching this important milestone but the hard work doesn’t end there! A retainer is an amazing product that will hold your teeth in their new positions while bone tissue rebuilds around it. It’s a process that takes time.
While you were in braces, Dr. Freels’ used your braces to deliver gentle controlled forces to guide your teeth in their proper places. Forces are continually at work in the mouth that move your teeth when you bite, chew, swallow and speak. To counteract these naturally-generated forces, Dr. Freels recommends continued retainer wear.
You may be scheduled for periodic retainer check appointments to check the fit of your retainer. Nothing can prevent 100% of tooth movement, but when retainers are worn as prescribed, they are the best tool available to minimize movement.
The most important thing to know about retainers is that they can only do their job when they are in your mouth!
Removable retainers are the most common provided after treatment. These are the kind you put in and take out as you eat and brush your teeth. Nearly-invisible these Essix retainers are molded from your teeth and are made of a transparent, plastic-like material.
If you don’t wear your retainers as prescribed, not only may your teeth move, they may move so much that your retainer won’t fit. If that should happen, contact us right away.
A Permanent retainer (“fixed”) may have been placed. This is a custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of your teeth.
Now It’s Up to You
Keeping your smile healthy and beautiful is in your hands. Please keep up the good oral hygiene habits and visit your general dentist regularly. To preserve the great results after your braces you must wear your retainer as instructed by Dr. Freels and keep those retainer check follow-ups until he says otherwise. Best of luck and show off that beautiful smile!
Be sure to check out our Retainer Care Handout under the Home Care tab!