Getting your braces off is an amazing feeling, finally free from the crippling metal grip of the braces. If the braces did their job, you may finally have teeth you’re proud of and a smile you can be confident in! Seeing your braces-less teeth for the first time in awhile can come as almost a shock to some people. You may look and feel like a completely different person, and in the best way possible! It has been a long journey, but you finally have the teeth you want, so don’t let all that effort go to waste, follow these steps to ensure your teeth remain perfectly aligned.
Chances are your orthodontist will give you a retainer, specifically designed to keep your teeth just as they are when you get your braces off. The retainer will have been molded to fit your mouth and snug around your newly aligned teeth. Retainers are a certain way to make sure your teeth don’t move after getting your braces off. Teeth are constantly moving and shifting and start shifting almost immediately your braces come off. Retainers prevent teeth from shifting and help them stay in place. Some retainers may be cemented into your mouth usually behind your teeth, but the most common retainer is made of a metal tooth guide and acrylic that has been molded to your mouth. This type of retainer is removable and of course, is only effective if it is actually worn. This is where most people mess up, they may start to wear their retainer consistently but eventually keep forgetting to wear it. This is where teeth begin the shifting process.
When should I wear my retainer?
Retainers should absolutely be worn directly after getting braces off. This initial stage is where teeth will be most actively trying to move. Ideally, retainers should be worn for life. Your teeth will never stop shifting, and the best way to prevent shifting is to continue to wear a retainer. Retainers are easily misplaced, and things happen, but they are easily replaced, and it is well worth it! If you do lose a retainer, contact your orthodontist immediately. Getting a new retainer is usually not a problem and ask your dentist what you can do in the meantime to prevent shifting teeth.
Did you lose a retainer, or do you think your teeth are shifting? Contact Lindner Dental today and schedule a consultation!