Have you finished your orthodontic treatment? Congratulations! Whether you received our clear ceramic braces or Six Month Smiles, you probably feel more confident than ever about your smile. Once your treatment is done, you will get a retainer to keep your teeth in place. Unless you do, your teeth can shift out of place.
Why Your Teeth Will Move After Orthodontic Treatment
Your teeth have memory. While they are made of strong material, the ligaments that hold them in place are flexible. So, once that pressure is gone that has shifted them into the correct position, they’ll move back into their original position. That’s why wearing your retainer is so important! It prevents this shifting from ruining the results of your orthodontic treatment.
Other factors also play a part. Chewing and biting can also shift your teeth. If you have a TMJ disorder and tend to grind or clench your teeth, that can also impact your alignment. Your dentist may recommend you get a custom bite guard you wear on an alternating schedule to your aligners. Or we may recommend a fixed retainer that allows you to wear your bite guard nightly.
Tips on Remembering to Wear Your Retainer
If you have a removable retainer, it can be difficult to remember to wear it when you haven’t had to before. You’ll need to wear it daily for 12 hours for at least eight weeks following your treatment. We’ll give you specific instructions during your appointment. Then, for at least a year, you’ll need to wear your retainer every night. After that point, you can shift to every other night.
So, how do you remember to wear it?
- Keep it by your bedside. You’ll want to make sure it’s easy to spot and put on before you go to bed. For many people, out of sight is out of mind. So, keep it in view.
- Make it part of your oral care routine. After you brush your teeth and floss at night, make sure you put your retainer on right away. Don’t wait, otherwise, you may forget.
- Decorate your retainer case. You’ll be storing your retainer in a special case to protect it from germs. Consider adding colorful stickers to it. It makes your case eye-catching and hard to forget.
If you ever lose your retainer, make sure you give us a call right away. You don’t want your teeth to shift out of place. Call Fairfield Smiles 203-349-3537 or request an appointment online in Fairfield, CT.