Retainers After Orthodontic Treatment

Somewhere along the line, retainers got a bad rap. They became known as unappealing, troublesome and even rumored to be unnecessary – which is so far from the truth. Retainers after orthodontic treatment are vital to the success of your smile following braces or Invisalign treatment. With today’s technology, retainers have been made discrete and comfortable for patients of all ages.

What are Retainers?

Retainers are small appliances placed in the mouth to keep your teeth in place following braces or Invisalign treatment. Get answers to some of the most common questions about wearing retainers here!

Will I have to wear a retainer after my braces come off?

When it comes to caring for your smile post-orthodontic treatment, retainers are not an option, but a necessity. Retainers work to keep your teeth in position as the tissues and bones in your mouth adapt to their treatment. Without the use of a custom retainer, your teeth will relapse. Relapse can occur once your braces are removed and your teeth return to their original positions – making all the time and money you invested a complete waste.

How long will I have to wear a retainer?

Retainers are for life. As long as you’d like to maintain your perfected smile, you should continue to wear your retainers. The good news is, you won’t always need to wear your retainers full time. Once Dr. Larrabee gives you the okay that your teeth have stabilized from your orthodontic treatment, you can reduce your retainer wear to night-time only or a portion of the day.

How do I take care of my retainers?

Similar to braces, it is important that you maintain your appointments with Dr. Larrabee so that he can check for an unexpected shifting of your teeth and that proper stabilization is occurring. Caring for retainers is relatively easy, and consists of keeping them clean and safely putting them in their case when you’re not wearing them so that they don’t become damaged. You can’t even imagine how often we get calls that the family puppy chewed up a patient’s retainer.

What happens if I lose my retainer after orthodontic treatment?

Accidents happen. If you do lose your retainer, call our office as soon as possible to schedule to get a replacement. Depending on the type of retainer needed, replacements can be made as quickly as a few hours or the following day.

Dr. Larrabee also offers a ‘Save your Smile’ program in which you can have your perfected smile virtually scanned. You will receive a set of 4 Vivera Invisalign retainers that can be saved for accidents or years down the road when retainers get worn or dingy and need replacement. Even better, your virtual scan is saved and can be used in the future to create additional retainers after orthodontic treatment, should you ever need them.