Photo of multiple colored braces

If you are about to finish treatment with Invisalign or braces, the next step is to wear a retainer. Why? Retainers are necessary to maintain the desired position of teeth. Immediately following your orthodontic treatment, the bone and soft tissues need time to harden around the teeth to provide stability. Even several months or years after treatment, teeth tend to shift back to their original positions. Retainers help prevent shifting to ensure long-lasting results.

If you do not follow your orthodontist’s instructions, your teeth may revert to old positions. For best results, here are five recommendations to keep your smile picture-perfect.

  1. How to wear retainers full-time

    When you first have your Invisalign or braces removed, you will need to wear your retainers full-time for six to eight weeks. Remove your retainers only when brushing teeth, eating or drinking anything but water. When you’re not wearing them, place them in the case your orthodontist gave you.

  2. Brushing retainers is important

    While you wear the retainers full-time, you should always brush both your teeth and retainers after eating or drinking. This will keep your retainers clean and will help you avoid damage to your tooth enamel. It is also recommended to soak your retainers in denture cleaning solution on a regular basis.

  3. Be careful with handling and protecting retainers

    Remember that it is easy to lose or break retainers because they are small and delicate. Do not wrap your retainer in a napkin or put it in your pocket. They should be kept or carried in a case when not worn. Do not subject your retainers to heat as the increased temperature can cause the retainers to warp and not fit properly.

  4. How to wear retainers part-time

    Depending on your personal retention plan, your orthodontist might recommend that after two months of full-time wear that you may move to wearing your retainers at night and for a few hours each day. Aim for about 14 hours of wear per day for six to eight weeks.

    After that stage, you may finally move to wearing your retainer only while you sleep. Continue to do so for life!

  5. Always remember to follow your orthodontist’s instructions

    Although these steps apply to many patients, each person and his or her teeth are different. You may have additional or customized retainer recommendations. Your orthodontist knows what’s best for you and your smile.

    If you have any questions, experts at Bubon Orthodontics can help you through the whole process of proper retainer care. They will also evaluate your retainers for regular maintenance and fit– remember to bring them to your appointments! If you’re looking for more details, feel free to contact Bubon Orthodontics and ask for a free consultation.