Why are retainers important? The TW Orthodontics team loves walking beside you on your journey toward a healthy, straight smile. However, your orthodontic treatment with us is not done when your braces are removed. Your retainers are your ticket to keeping your smile beautiful for years to come!

What does a retainer look like?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that is usually made out of a clear plastic or a combination of plastic and wire, and is custom made to fit your mouth. It may be large enough to cover the roof of your mouth, or a bit smaller, fitting over a row or even just a few of your teeth. Your orthodontist will check the retainer to make sure that it properly fits so that it will do its job.

What do retainers do?

A retainer has several purposes! First of all, it retains (or keeps) your teeth in their new positions. As you get older, your jaws continue to grow and change. If you are not wearing your retainer as instructed, your teeth will shift and can completely undo the work of braces! As an adult, your teeth continue to shift slightly due to age and enamel erosion. Wearing your retainer will help keep these changes from altering your new alignment. You don’t want to have to get braces a second time right?

How long do I have to wear my retainer?

Your doctor will instruct you on how long to wear your retainer. The time depends on each person and their case. We might suggest that you have a permanent retainer fitted into your mouth. These are typically unobtrusive, invisible and painless, and can guarantee your teeth maintain their new position for years to come. However, permanent retainers are not always necessary. Usually, you will have to wear your retainer consistently for a few months, and eventually switch to only at night. Each case is unique, and we will work with you to find the plan that works best for your smile! (Click HERE to read more about what the American Association of Orthodontists recommends for retainers.)

Is it really that important?

YES! We cannot stress how important it is to wear your retainer! Teeth shift constantly throughout life, whether or not you’re growing. The only way to guarantee that you won’t need braces again, and keep your smile looking stunning for years to come is to consistently wear your retainer. After a short adjustment period, wearing your retainer will become a natural part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth!

The TW Orthodontics team understands that it is exciting to get your braces off and a little bothersome to have to wear a retainer, but trust us – it will be worth it!

If you are an adult who had braces as a teenager and are noticing your teeth shift, give us a call! We are happy to adjust your retainer or present options for treatment.