If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely about to get your braces off, or already have. Congratulations on getting past the hardest part, but sadly it’s not over yet.
Once your braces are removed, you will have to wear a retainer. The retainer insures that your teeth stay in place after there is nothing holding them together. Your orthodontist will specify for how long you should wear the retainer. Some docs will ask you to wear the retainer 24/7 for the first year, (so your teeth learn to hold their new position), but often times they’ll only ask you to wear it at night.
Removable retainers are often the first choice. You typically only have to wear them at night, allowing your mouth absolute freedom during the day. They are also super to clean, as they can be taken out and brushed.
However, these retainers are usually uncomfortable for those who have had metal work in their mouth for the last year or longer. Removable retainers are also tricky because you have to keep up with them day to day and remember to pack them when you are away from home.
Permanent retainers are “out of sight, out of mind” and very discrete. Your orthodontist will adhere a metal wire to the back of your teeth to hold them in place. A lot of people enjoy this option because they will never have to think about wearing their retainer, and they will also never lose track of it. With removable retainers you have to remember to wear them every night. If you forget to wear it, you will be pushing teeth back into the spot that they already started drifting from the next time you put your retainer in. And that definitely doesn’t feel good.
The placement of permanent retainers also gives them a low profile. However, they do make flossing more of a chore; just as it was when you had the braces. The retainer can also cause increased plaque build up around those teeth, so you will have to be extra diligent when brushing. Though the retainer makes it harder to brush and floss, you can let it become an excuse to skip those vital parts of your dental routine.
If you still have questions as to which option is best for you, feel free to contact your favorite dentist at A Beautiful Smile at Lakepoint. We’re always here to keep your dental health stress free.