#Retainers are infamous for being forgotten. How long do you actually need to wear them to keep your teeth straight?
Orthodontic treatment is a journey that requires commitment to the goal of straight teeth and an aligned bite. For some this journey lasts a few months, but for others it can take years. However, I like to describe the end of active orthodontic treatment as the beginning of your maintenance or “retention” phase of treatment.
The drag of keeping track of your retainers and wearing them nightly often leads to less than perfect wear–but it’s been years, my teeth won’t shift, right? The answer is maybe. Consider undergoing weight-loss surgery or dying your brown hair blonde. Even though there are dramatic results after these procedures, you must maintain these changes (i.e. keeping a healthy lifestyle or regular touch up appointments at the salon) in order to prevent nature from reverting them. Some people are lucky and have minimal dental shifting without retainers, while others experience relapse after just a week without a retainer. Teeth move in response to forces. These forces can be caused by orthodontics or can occur naturally from the lips, tongue or contact with opposing teeth during chewing. After orthodontic treatment, our teeth are at the mercy of those natural forces in our mouths. Retainers provide resistance this natural shifting, by “resetting” the alignment each night.
So add wearing that retainer to your nightly routine! If you forget a night, try to wear it for a day or two, until your teeth are no longer sore. If your retainer breaks or is lost, reach out to us or your local orthodontist to get a replacement! These steps are much simpler and more affordable than having to get braces or Invisalign again! #protectyourinvestment #protectyoursmile