Are there different types of retainers?
There are three types of retainers that are commonly used: the Essix retainer (made of clear plastic), the bonded retainer (a composite material worn behind the teeth), and the Hawley retainer (wire retainer). The purpose of all retainers is to prevent your teeth from shifting after having your braces removed.
Do you need to wear a retainer once your braces are removed?
Once your braces are removed, you must wear your retainer for a set period of time. On average, your orthodontist will have you wear your retainer for around two to three years after having your braces removed. While at first you may have to wear them 12/7 (not including when you’re eating or brushing your teeth), eventually you may only have to wear them at night. Even after wearing them for a few years, your teeth may begin to shift if you stop wearing them completely. Ask your orthodontist what treatment is best for you.
How do retainers affect my daily life?
Retainers may be visible to others, but they are a lot less noticeable than braces. When you remove your retainers to eat, brush your teeth, or while playing contact sports, you should ALWAYS put them in a case. More often than not, retainers that are left behind are either lost or thrown out. Keep a case in areas where you often remove your braces like the bathroom, kitchen, or locker room.
Will my teeth continue to change after the set period of time?
From 20 year olds to 50 year old, our faces mature and age, causing our teeth to push forward. This will happen regardless of whether you have had teeth extracted, or previous orthodontic treatments. Some people will wear their retainer for more than five years, while some adults will wear their retainer for the rest of their lives.
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