So you’ve just completed your Orthodontic treatment and ready to show off your beautiful smile to all your friends, but wait, what is this retainer? Aren’t my teeth supposed to stay like this forever? In this blog article, Mansfield and Arlington, TX Orthodontist, Dr. Rick Herrmann provides an overview of retainers and how they play an important role in keeping your smile beautiful.
What Do Retainers Do?
Retainers do a lot of the heavy lifting for orthodontic treatment. The braces treatment help to realign a person’s teeth to make them straighter and more flattering overall. However, the retainer is there to make sure that things stay that way. A lot of times people get overly anxious about getting their retainers out and end up removing them before they are truly ready to come out. When they do this they end up ruining the work that the surgery did for them.
How Much Of My Day Do I Have To Have The Retainer In?
There is good news for those worried about how much of their day will be consumed with having a retainer in. The news is that they do not have to keep the retainer in all day every day forever. The odds are that for the first six months or so following surgery that it is a good idea to keep the retainer in. After that, things can loosen up a little bit.
Most orthodontists recommend that a patient leave their retainer in for about 22 hours per day while they are first getting used to it. After about six months and some confidence from the orthodontist that things are improving you may be able to only have the retainer in during night time.
Why Is It So Important To Play By These Rules?
You have the option to ignore everything that you have read here and simply play by your own rules when it comes to your retainer. You can choose to go your own way and simply hope for the best. However, you need to realize that you are really taking a gamble by doing so. Your teeth are going to want to revert to their old form if you allow that to happen. That means that you may have had orthodontic treatment with no real purpose.
Your retainer is just a tool that is supposed to help make your life and oral health better. The more that you use it for its intended purpose the better.