in Long Beach
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are orthodontic devices designed to keep teeth straight, particularly after orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign. Retainers help keep your teeth in their new, correct position after braces or Invisalign. While it can be tempting to go without a retainer, a fair number of patients will need them to preserve their hard-earned results of orthodontic treatment. At Innovative Smiles in Long Beach, we work with each patient to provide tailored orthodontic treatment that can improve their smile’s health and appearance.
Why Do I Need a Retainer?
Braces keep your teeth in a straight position for a long time. However, once the braces come off, nothing keeps your teeth from returning to their previous position. Everyday habits like chewing and grinding apply forces to your teeth and can move them. This shift in position can happen because the gums, bones, and muscles are not used to not having braces. You can think of retainers like this: Braces straighten your teeth, but your retainer keeps them that way. They help your teeth “retain” their position.
What Types Of Retainers Are There?
- Hawley retainers are made up of plastic or acrylic and wire, sculpted to the contours of your mouth.
- Clear or “Essix” retainers are clear, molded plastic retainers that resemble Invisalign products.
- Fixed retainers are attached to the back of the front teeth.
How Long Will I Need a Retainer?
How long you will need your retainer depends on the individual. Some may only need to wear a retainer for 6 months, while others may need to wear one for years or for their entire life. The best way to know how long you will need a retainer is to discuss your treatment plan with your dentist or orthodontist. The important thing is to stick to the regimen of wearing your retainer as your dental specialist prescribes.
What Happens if I Don’t Wear My Retainer?
It’s important to wear your retainer as your orthodontist recommends in order to maintain your new smile. Without wearing your retainer, the teeth you’ve worked so hard to straighten can shift back out of place, becoming misaligned all over again. This means that all of the time and money spent on your treatment can all be for nothing. That is why wearing your retainer as instructed is so crucial to being able to enjoy your orthodontic treatment results.
Schedule a Visit Today
Whether you have a retainer or need to start orthodontic treatment, we are here to help. Use our online form or call our office to set up a visit and stay on top of your orthodontic care. Our team of dental professionals will help you find the best solution for your smile for lifelong oral health. Contact us today to get started and ensure that your smile is in good hands!