Retainers for Teeth — Frequently Asked Questions

If you have recently been prescribed to wear retainers, then here are a few frequently asked questions:

What are Retainers?

After you have achieved straightened teeth, your orthodontic treatment may be over but you need to keep the teeth in the new corrected position. The purpose of retainer teeth is exactly that: they prevent your teeth from moving out of place.

What does a retainer do to your teeth?

After braces or another orthodontic treatment has been used to straighten your teeth, you will need a retainer to protect them from moving. The new position of your teeth will take at least four to six months to become permanent.

During this time, your teeth will attempt to revert to their former position, a process known as relapse. Therefore, wearing them ensure that your straightened teeth maintain their position until it becomes permanent.

Does one have to wear retainers forever?

After your orthodontic treatment has concluded, and you no longer have to wear the braces or clear aligners, you will be prescribed retainers.

Your dentist will recommend that you wear them every night just after your braces have been removed. However, you will eventually only need to wear them a few times per week. If you want to keep your teeth straight, you will have to do this for the rest of your life.

Can retainers damage teeth?

No one would wear a retainer if it caused direct damage to their teeth. The damage is caused by the development of dental decay. The decay happens if you do not take care of your retainer or your teeth. Just like when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you have to take extra care of your dental hygiene when wearing them to minimize the risk of decay. Essentially, you must take better care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, cleaning them daily, and avoiding wearing it when eating. And of course, you should have regular dental checkups and dental cleanings.

How to take care of retainers?

When your dentist prescribes you to wear retainers, you will also be provided with certain instructions. It is important to you wear your retainers according to these instructions. Before eating, drinking, or swimming, you should remove the retainers. However, when you remove them, always put them back in the case they come with. This ensures that you do not misplace or damage them. They should be kept away from high heat.

How long does a retainer last?

Brush your retainer like you would your teeth to keep it clean and last long. Because of normal wear and tear, the retainer will need to be replaced at some point. With good care, retainers should last at least two years, if not more.

At Randall Dentistry, patients will be able to get a wide range of dental services in Dallas, including orthodontic treatments and getting retainers. Call or visit us to learn more or book your appointment.

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