A beautiful smile is important; we all seek for that perfect smile, which cannot be achieved overnight. With proper brushing, flossing and proper diet, good dental health can be maintained.However sometimes due to mal-alignment, we are often unable to clean properly leading to accumulation of plaque thus poor gum and teeth health. Thus, orthodontic treatment is recommended to achieve alignment and good dental health. There are many ways to achieve alignment, one can opt for However sometimes due to mal-alignment, we are often unable to clean properly leading to accumulation of plaque thus poor gum and teeth health. Thus, orthodontic treatment is recommended to achieve alignment and good dental health. There are many ways to achieve alignment, one can opt for clear aligners or braces. In this article, we will discuss How long to wear retainers after braces? How long to wear retainers? Types of retainers etc. In this article, we will discuss How long to wear retainers after braces? How long to wear retainers? Types of retainers etc.
Not wearing your retainers after braces?
Once the orthodontic treatment is complete, (when the required correction is achieved) it is then the retention period begins. “How long to wear a retainer after braces?” is the often-asked question. It is important to know “retention” is the most phase to achieve stable results, do not miss/ forget to wear your retainer any day or any time.
There are many factors that determine how long the retainer needs to be worn.
What Braces/Clear Aligner Correct?
It is important to note, for your crooked teeth, protruding or spaced teeth braces or clear aligners are needed. Mal-alignment or Malocclusion can occur due to multiple causes genetics, habits, or any other cause. If left untreated, these conditions may lead to tooth or gum disease and overall poor oral health. Orthodontic treatment is fabricated in such a fashion that the required/desired tooth movement can.
The Purpose of Retainer
When the planned results are achieved be it with the help of traditional braces or clear aligner, getting the braces off is indeed the added reason to smile. Apart from that perfect smile we were looking for, we need wear a retainer to keep that bright smile the way it is (in order to maintain the achieved orthodontic result), i.e., now enter the retention phase (this phase may vary from 9 – 12months). A retainer is a custom-made appliance. If we do not wear the retainer for a desired period of time, the risk of teeth returning to the old position(pre-orthodontic) is high after braces are taken off.
To simplify, teeth are not fixed, they are always moving and with braces, we move them to a new position. The teeth try to move back to old position, the position they were at before orthodontic treatment. The bones, gums, underlying fibres stretch when teeth move to the new, thus these structures pull teeth back to the original position. To keep teeth in the new attained position, this is where retainer plays an important role.
Retainer helps keep teeth in place and if worn constantly these underlying structures(ligaments and gingival fibres) stabilize and the stretch reduces over time, with new strong and stable bone formation around the new tooth position. Thus, more duration you wear the retainer more stable result can be achieved.
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How long do retainers last? Retainer Wearing Duration
Duration of wear of retainer is the most crucial, for the first 5 – 6 months after the removal of braces or completion of clear aligner therapy, you must wear your retainer for a minimum 22 – 24 hours/day. Your orthodontist ideally will determine the duration of the retainer wear. Depending on the severity of the treatment the duration of wear may increase or decrease, refer to your orthodontist before switching to only night time wear (shift is usually after one year of wear). Wear your retainer to avoid any undue tooth movement, as if not worn for the desired duration your teeth may move back to the original position.
# IDEALLY THE RETAINER IS WORN 24*7 FOR A MINIMUM DURATION OF 9 MONTHS.
Types of Retainers after Braces or Clear Aligners
• Fixed (Bonded)
• Removable (Hawley’s)
• Removable (Invisible)
Fixed retainers are like invisible, non-removable retainers. This is placed on the inside surface of the tooth, thus, invisible from the outside. This retainer is held with the help of tooth coloured cement to the back of the teeth. It may not be recommended due to your bite. It should be cleaned with the help of floss/interdental brush.
It can be of fiber or stainless-steel wire.
Do not touch the retainer with tongue, as you may break it.
Report immediately if the retainer breaks
Keep a check on the diet, as sticky food may lead to breakage
Hawley’s Removable Retainers
This is the most common type of retainer used. It is custom-made, Hawley’s retainer is made of wire which wraps around your teeth. It wraps the teeth, thus, is visible. It is removable. It should be removed before every meal. Cleaning is hustle-free, rinse under running water, you can use cloth or soft bristle brush as well. Always remember more you keep it clean better oral hygiene can be maintained.
This is the invisible kind of retainer, it is made from plastic-like material thus give a clear invisible look. It is easy to wear and remove.
# Remember: Your orthodontist decides which retainer is best for you.
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Top tips for caring your retainers for a better result
Retainer care is very important, it cannot be neglected. There are only a few points we need to remember which are quick and easy:
- Fixed retainers – visit your dentist regularly
- Fixed retainer – if breaks, report and try to get it fixed ASAP.
- Removable – clean under running water
- Removable – it should feel tight, if loosens – visit your dentist
- Complete oral hygiene plays an important role – brush, floss and rinses regularly.
- Last but not the least – DO NOT EAT WITH THE RETAINERS. (Remove and then eat).
REMEMBER TO WEAR YOUR RETAINER AS PER YOUR DENTIST INSTRUCTION. FOLLOW PROPER INSTRUCTIONS TO ACHIEVE STABLE RESULTS.
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