Once your braces are finally removed, it might be tempting to believe that you are fully done with your orthodontic care. However, Salem orthodontist Dr. Ana Castilla and her team at Castilla Orthodontics strongly encourage all patients to “retain” these important facts about wearing retainers after orthodontic care.

What is a Retainer?

Retainers are appliances that protect your orthodontic care and treatment. They are usually made of hard plastic, with or without wires. Upper retainers are customized to fit the roof of your mouth and lower retainers are for the bottom teeth and jaw. They can be made either fixed or removable.

Why Retainers are Essential

While the appearance of your front teeth when you smile is important, orthodontic treatment is much more than that. The comprehensive care and treatment offered by Dr. Castilla and her team at Castilla Orthodontics affects the way that all of the teeth work together for an optimum bite and the best possible dental health.

Whether you have experienced orthodontic treatment with traditional (metal) braces, ceramic (clear) braces, Invisalign or Invisalign Express (clear aligners) or lingual braces (braces behind your teeth), it’s vital to consider the time and effort invested to create your beautiful smile. Just because your braces have been removed, this doesn’t mean that you have completed your orthodontic treatment.

Once braces are removed, teeth, gums and ligaments need time to adapt to the recent orthodontic changes to your mouth. Retainers hold teeth in their new places so that teeth don’t return to their original positions, preserving your bite and your beautiful smile.

How Long Should You Wear a Retainer?

In general, it takes several months for the muscles and ligaments to adjust to the results of your orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic retainers need to be worn full time, taken out only for eating and for brushing and flossing teeth.

Because each patient’s needs are different, Dr. Castilla and her team offer individualized instructions regarding wearing retainers. Dr. Castilla will advise you on how long you will need to wear your retainer and how specifically you can take care of your new smile!

Orthodontist in Salem, OR Dr. Castilla and her team at Castilla Orthodontics work closely with each patient to ensure optimal orthodontic care and treatment. Call Castilla Orthodontics at 503.399.0721 to schedule your appointment!

Photo Credit: tangojuliette via Compfight cc