"Your orthodontic treatment doesn't end once your braces come off," says Dr. Aly Kanani, a Langley orthodontist. "Wearing your retainer as directed by your orthodontist is essential to ensuring that your teeth stay in their proper locations. Not wearing your retainer as advised can lead to teeth shifting back."
After your braces are removed, your orthodontist will give you a retainer to wear. It will be custom made just for you and will be made of plastic and metal. The retainer will fit over the top of your teeth. Most orthodontic patients who have had braces have to wear a retainer for at least a small time after having their braces removed.
Retainers are so important because they will help your teeth stay set in their new locations. This is especially important for younger patients because, as they grow, their teeth can continue to shift. The retainer will ensure the teeth continue to stay in the locations the braces moved them to.
After your braces are removed, your orthodontist will fit you with your retainer. He or she will instruct you on how long to wear it and when to wear it. Some patients may be instructed to wear it all day for several months, then you can switch to only wearing it at night. Others may only wear their retainer at night from the beginning. The duration of time you wear your retainer will be determined by your orthodontist.
"A retainer may cause you to feel some pressure on your teeth," says Dr. Kanani, a Langley Invisalign provider. "Your teeth could even feel a bit sore for the first few days you wear your retainer, but this is completely normal. Wearing your retainer is a very important part of your orthodontic treatment. Together, we have worked really hard to achieve a beautiful smile. Failing to wear your retainer can mean your teeth could move back to their original positions. Your bones, muscles and gums must also adapt to the change."
Dr. Kanani offers several tips for taking proper care of your retainer:
• Wear your retainer as your orthodontist advises.
• Take your retainer out when eating. Remember to place it in its case so that it won't be accidentally thrown away or misplaced.
• Clean your retainer once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm water. Brushing will remove any plaque buildup and odors.
• If you are not wearing your retainer, always make sure it is in its case so it won't get lost.
• Practice speaking with it when you first get it. It may be difficult to speak when you first begin wearing it.
• Take good care of your retainer. They are breakable and can be expensive to replace.
With proper attention to detail and following the advice of your orthodontist, your smile will continue to be bright and beautiful for years to come. To learn more about retainers, please visit http://www.langleyorthodontics.com/
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