When you finish your treatment and are finally able to enjoy your beautiful new smile, our orthodontist will provide you with a retainer. This oral appliance is key to keeping your newly aligned teeth in the correct places. Make sure to wear your retainer as directed so you can keep your smile balanced and beautiful throughout your life.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is a custom-made dental appliance used after orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, to maintain the newly aligned position of your teeth. It is an essential part of the orthodontic process that helps prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

Why do I need a retainer?

There are several reasons why you need a retainer after orthodontic treatment, including:

  • Stability: After orthodontic treatment, your teeth are still susceptible to movement. A retainer helps stabilize your teeth in their corrected positions.
  • Preventing Relapse: Without a retainer, there is a risk of relapse, where your teeth gradually shift back to their misaligned state.
  • Optimal Results: Wearing a retainer ensures that you maintain the beautiful smile achieved through orthodontic treatment.

What types of retainers are available?

There are two main types of retainers:

Removable Retainers: These are easily taken out for cleaning and eating. Common types include Hawley retainers (metal and acrylic) and Essix retainers (clear plastic retainers, similar to clear aligners).

These are bonded to the back of your teeth and are not removable. They are typically made of a thin wire and are less visible.

How long should I wear my retainer?

How long patients wear their retainers varies from patient to patient, but we typically recommend that you wear your retainer constantly for the first several months following treatment, removing it only to eat, brush and floss. After this time, you can gradually transition to nighttime wear only. Dr. Feinstein will provide you with instructions based on your individual needs.

How do I care for my retainer?

Proper care of your retainer is crucial to maintaining its effectiveness. We recommend that you:

  • Clean your retainer daily using a soft toothbrush and mild soap or retainer cleaner.
  • Store your retainer properly in a case when you are not wearing it to protect it from damage or loss.
  • Handle your retainer gently to avoid bending or breaking it.
  • Make and keep regular follow-up appointments with our orthodontist to ensure that your retainer is working properly.

To learn more about retainers in Chesterfield, Virginia, and schedule your appointment with our experienced orthodontist, call Feinstein 360 Orthodontics today at 804-735-0365.

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