You finally got your braces off and you’re in love with your perfectly straight teeth. Since you had a complicated case, it took a little longer than average patients and you want to do everything possible to keep your new, improved pearly whites looking great. That’s why you should wear your retainer and follow these tips about this essential oral device from your trusted orthodontist in Mullica Hill. Find out how long you should wear your retainer from Dr. Anthony Colalillo in this post.
How Long Should I Wear My Retainer?
Depending on the circumstances, the length of necessary retainer use can vary. Generally speaking:
- You should wear your retainer full-time (meaning all day long, except when you eat and brush and floss your teeth) for at least a year.
- At that point, your kid’s orthodontist Mullica Hill will be able to tell if there has been any movement by your teeth – if not, you should be able to wear this at night only.
- Dr. Colallilo will base the length of time you’ll need to wear your retainer on the length of time you had braces, but there are always special circumstances that may require you to wear your retainer at night indefinitely.
- If you have a permanent retainer, this can last up to several decades to ensure your teeth remain in the correct, healthy position.
Since it’s imperative to keep your teeth from reverting back to the crooked alignment they were in before you received braces, be sure to follow Dr. Colallilo’s instructions exactly. And, if you have questions about his directions, let us know! We’re here to answer questions and to explain the reasons why you need the specific course of retainer treatment recommended.
How Should I Care For My Retainer?
There are three basic types of retainers, and depending on the type of retainer you have, you can care for them in the following ways:
- Fixed Retainers – These are metal bars/wires that are cemented to the backside of your teeth to hold your teeth in place. To care for this, brush and floss like you normally would, and be sure to visit Dr. Colallilo regularly so he can check for cavities and remove any plaque and tartar buildup around your retainer.
- Hawley Retainers – These combine a metal wire that wraps around your teeth and is affixed to a plastic, flesh-colored base. You can soak these in a solution of vinegar and water or denture cleaner – just be sure to rinse these thoroughly before placing it back in your mouth.
- Invisible Retainers – Also known as Essix retainers, these are made of clear plastic that appear practically invisible to the naked eye. You can clean these just like you would a Hawley retainer and get an idea of what they look like by viewing the picture at the top of this page.
If you wear your retainer and follow your dentist’s instructions, you can have a straight and healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Give us a call if you have questions about your retainer or schedule an appointment with Alex Colalillo Orthodontics to get started on the process of creating your perfect grin!