Wearing braces is one of the best ways to achieve straighter teeth and a nicer smile, but you will not wear them forever. Most people wear them only a year or two, and the orthodontist then removes them to reveal a nicer smile. The problem is that you cannot keep this nicer smiler if you do not wear your retainer. Additionally, it's also important to care for your retainer in the proper ways so that it lasts, and here are a few things to understand about your new retainer.
Why you need to wear it
When you initially get your braces removed from your teeth, you will immediately receive a retainer to wear. Your orthodontist will probably tell you to wear it all the time, except for when you are eating. If you fail to follow this one instruction, your teeth will not stay straight. Your teeth will naturally want to move back to their original positionings, and they will if you do not wear the retainer to hold them in place.
It's important to understand that your teeth are most prone to shifting right after getting your braces off. Because of this, wearing your retainer all the time for the first few months is vital. Over time, you may be able to wear it only at night while sleeping, but you should wait to do this until your orthodontist tells you that it is alright to switch to night wearing only.
You should also realize that wearing this retainer while you sleep for the rest of your life is the best way to keep your teeth straight. In other words, your teeth will shift over time, even if you wear it for five years and then stop wearing it. Once you stop wearing it, your teeth are prone to shifting.
How to care for it
The best way to care for your retainer is to wear it all the time and store it in the container your orthodontist gives you when you have to remove it to eat. Additionally, you should clean your retainer each time you clean your teeth, and you can use warm water and toothpaste to do this. Just brush it gently each time and rinse it off with warm or cool water. Never use hot water on it, as it could melt, and avoid using any type of household cleaner to clean your retainer.
If you would like to learn more about braces or retainers, you should talk to an orthodontics office. You can do so by contacting a clinic of your choice to make an appointment at a time convenient for you.