You've finished your braces treatment - hooray! And now, you must wear retainers.
What? Yes, retainers! Retainers are there to keep the results of your orthodontist's (with your co-operation) hard work in getting your teeth perfect.
When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you will be provided with one set of clear retainers and one set of bonded retainers. The clear retainers are your main go-to for making sure your beautiful teeth remain beautiful and straight. At Perfect Smiles Orthodontics, we recommend that you wear your clear retainers full time (day and night) for six months, and then nightly for a minimum of five (5) years.
What if I don't wear my retainers? If you don't wear your retainers, there is a chance that your teeth will start to drift back to their original pre-treatment position. You may find that after a few days of not wearing your retainers, they start to feel tight – that is a sign that your teeth are moving, and the best remedy is to start wearing your retainers' full time!
If you stop wearing your retainers for a long period of time, and then try to wear them again, you may find that it will not fit anymore. This means that your teeth have moved to a different position from where they were on your day of deband. This is called relapse.
What should you do if this happens? You should call your orthodontist and book yourself in for a checkup appointment as soon as possible. Depending on how much your teeth have relapsed, your orthodontist may recommend a further round of treatment (oh no!) or to get a new set of retainers to keep your teeth as they are.
The best practice with your retainers is to follow your orthodontist's instructions and be diligent in wearing them. The hard part (wearing braces) is over, now you just need to get into a good habit of wearing your retainers to keep your beautiful smile!