After braces are removed, the teeth need to be stabilized to avoid shifting. Retainers do just the trick. They hold teeth in their proper positions until the bones and gums can remodel, and are an absolutely essential part of your treatment. Typically, patients wear a retainer full-time for three months following active orthodontic treatment. Thereafter, patients wear retainers nightly and at home for nine additional months. Retainers will be worn during sleep hours indefinitely after the first year of treatment.
Lower retainers are most often bonded to the six front teeth and are invisible to the world. The upper retainers are most often Essix Appliances – clear plastic shells that cover the teeth like an invisible “second skin”.
What To Expect
Retainers will likely feel awkward at the outset – but this will only last a few days. Dr. Bronsky recommends reading aloud or performing a monologue in the mirror for a few minutes a day to jump-start the acclimation process. Practice the words that give you trouble and your speech will be totally normal in no time. Trust him, it works!
The Retainer Case: Your Personal GPS
When it’s time to eat, stow your retainer in its case and secure it in your backpack, locker, briefcase, purse, desk drawer or other safe spot. This is the only way to avoid leaving it in a crumpled napkin. Trust us on this.
And please remember to bring your retainers to your appointments, too!