If you have braces, you may be counting down the day until you get them off. While this is an exciting time in your life, you should remember that your treatment isn’t over once your braces are removed. You will need to wear a retainer to ensure your teeth remain in their optimal positions for years to come. Dr. Sims will provide you with detailed directions on how and when to wear your retainer after you’ve completed your braces or Invisalign treatment.
What is a Retainer?
A retainer is an orthodontic device designed to keep your teeth in alignment after your braces are off. It will be specifically molded to match your unique smile. At first, a retainer may feel a bit tight and uncomfortable. Once you use it consistently and your mouth gets used to it, however, this will no longer be an issue.
Importance of Retainers
Contrary to popular belief, braces don’t guarantee permanent results. In fact, you should realize that teeth have a natural tendency to move back into their original positions, especially once the forces holding them are no longer there. If you don’t wear a retainer as directed by Dr. Sims, there’s a good chance your teeth will return to where they were before you got braces. With a retainer, you can ensure your braces treatment truly pays off. It’s key if you’d like to prevent regression and sport your beautiful, healthy smile long after your braces have been removed.
Types of Retainers
Since there are different types of retainers, Dr. Sims will recommend the ideal solution for your unique situation. Your age, lifestyle, and preferences may all play a role in the type of retainer he suggests. The two main types of retainers are removable and fixed.
A removable retainer is exactly what it sounds like. A retainer that you can remove from your mouth. It’s a lot easier to keep clean because you can take it out every time you eat and wash it thoroughly on a regular basis. The major downfall of a removable retainer, however, is that you must remember to wear as Dr. Sims prescribes. If you think you’ll forget to wear your retainer or you’ll slack and only wear it when you feel like it, a fixed retainer is probably a better option.
Just like metal braces, a fixed retainer is attached to your teeth. It’s made up of a thin wire that is placed behind the surface of your teeth. While fixed retainers are a great choice as they force you to wear your retainer, they can be more difficult to keep clean.
How Long Are Retainers Worn?
The amount of time you’ll need to wear a retainer will depend on how long it’s been since Dr. Sims removed your braces. Fortunately, Dr. Sims will provide you with a detailed plan so you’ll know exactly how long you’ll need your retainer. Do your best to wear your retainer as directed. While forgetting to wear your retainer for a few days isn’t a big deal, it can cause you to stop wearing it for longer. This will slowly but surely move your teeth out of alignment.
Side Effects of Retainers
The good news is there are not many side effects of retainers. While you might feel a bit uncomfortable when you first start wearing your retainer, this will fade once your mouth gets used to it. If you notice blurry vision while wearing your retainer, contact Dr. Sims right away as this is not a common side effect. The blurry vision may be the result of an underlying issue like TMJ, which is also known to cause watery eyes and light sensitivity.
Contact Sims Orthodontics Today
If you have further questions about retainers or would like to schedule an appointment at our Pensacola office, don’t hesitate to call us at 850-477-7715. We look forward to hearing from you!