You have spent months or years in braces or wearing Invisalign in order to shift your teeth, improve your bite, and improve your smile. You look forward to the day when treatment is over and your braces come off, revealing a brand new, beautiful smile. Unfortunately, that’s when you learn about retainers and that your orthodontic treatment really isn’t over. And honestly, if you want to keep that beautiful new smile, it never will be. Retainer wear is essential to keep that new smile.
Retainers are Essential Immediately After Braces
Your braces have spent months or years working to slowly shift your teeth into their new position. This resulted in your new and beautiful smile. The goal of a retainer is to keep that smile and keep your teeth in their new position.
When braces slowly move your teeth, the supporting bone changes. After your braces are removed, it takes time for new bone to grow and support your teeth in their new position. This is why wearing a retainer at least 20 hours a day is so essential immediately after your orthodontist removes your braces. The retainer holds your teeth in a position to allow the new bone to grow. This constant retainer wear typically lasts for at least six months and up to as long as one year, depending on the extent of your orthodontic treatment. After this time, your orthodontist will likely advise you to wear your retainer at night, or even reduce it to a few nights a week.
After the bone tissue regrows, your teeth are relatively stable in their new position. This is why you are able to reduce the amount of time you need to wear your retainer. Unfortunately, as you get older, natural aging can try and rob you of your new smile.
When it comes to your teeth, while they may seem solid, they gradually shift throughout your life. As you get older, teeth naturally shift forward in your jaw. Wearing a retainer a few days a week will help reduce this natural shifting and keep your teeth in their position.
In order to keep that smile you worked so hard for, you will need to wear your retainer for many years. This means replacement retainers will be necessary. Visit SportingSmiles today to learn about our high-quality Essix retainers for a fraction of the cost.
Many years ago, when kids had braces, they were told to wear their retainer for a year or two, and then they were done. Unfortunately, because of this natural age shifting, many orthodontists are now seeing adults return for braces because they did not wear their retainer continuously, resulting in a shift. Wearing your retainer a few days a week, at night, is usually enough to keep you out of braces again.
Hurting Teeth with Retainer Wear Can Be a Sign of Shifting
If you have gone a few days or longer without wearing your retainer, you may notice it feels a little tight when you do put it in. You may also experience some pain in your teeth while wearing it. This may be because your teeth have begun shifting. When this occurs, it is often a sign that you need to wear your retainer more often to reduce the risk of shifting.
In severe cases, or if it has been months or longer since wearing your retainer, you may find the retainer no longer fits. If this happens, you should make an appointment with your orthodontist. For minimal shifting, they may just recommend a newly fitted retainer, but if the shift is dramatic, you may need braces again to fix your alignment.
Lifelong Retainer Wears Means You Will Need Replacement Retainers
Having to wear a retainer for life means you are going to need replacement retainers throughout your life. While retainers are made to be durable, they do not last forever. The average Essix style retainer lasts for six months to a few years, depending on wear and how well it is cared for. Replacement retainers throughout your life can get expensive, but SportingSmiles can help keep you in your retainer without breaking the bank. It’s important to note that with proper care, most retainers will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
When you go through your orthodontist, a retainer can cost between $300 and $1000. Your orthodontist makes a mold and sends it to a dental lab. Here, a laboratory technician makes the retainer and then sends it back to your orthodontist.
With SportingSmiles, we bypass the need for the orthodontist. You use our patented self-impression kit to make a mold and then send it back to our dental lab. Our technicians create the same high-quality retainer and send it directly to you. Our retainers range from $85 for a single to $130 for both upper and lower retainers. For more information, visit Orthodontic Retainers today.