A retainer is a custom-made orthodontic appliance that is designed to keep your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. After your braces are removed, the retainer holds your teeth in their new position while the surrounding gums and bones adjust to the new position of your teeth. The retainer is worn all the time at first and then only at night as you progress through treatment. Wearing your retainer as prescribed is crucial to keep your smile looking its best. It prevents them from shifting back to their original position, which can happen if they’re not held in place long enough. At Rafati Orthodontics, our orthodontist will prescribe how long you need to wear your retainer and when you can stop wearing it.
A removable retainer is a plastic appliance that is worn at night. It can be removed anytime, making it more convenient than a fixed retainer. However, a removable retainer must be worn every night to maintain the results achieved with braces or Invisalign treatment. If a removable retainer is not worn as directed, the teeth may return to their original positions.
A Hawley retainer in San Jose, CA, is made from metal wires and sturdy acrylic material. It is custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly. This retainer fits snugly against the roof of your mouth, and the wire portion surrounds your teeth.
A clear plastic retainer is made of clear acrylic material and is virtually invisible when worn. This type of retainer is more comfortable than a Hawley retainer because it does not have wires.
While wearing your aligners, you should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once per day. This helps remove plaque and food debris between your teeth and the aligner trays.
You must remove your retainer before eating or drinking anything other than water. Eating with your retainer on can trap food debris and increase your risk of tooth decay. Drinking hot beverages like coffee or tea can cause warping of the plastic.
When you’re not wearing your retainers, store them in their case. This will help keep them clean and protect them from damage. If you lose or damage your retainers, it’s essential to contact your orthodontist right away to get a replacement.
It would help if you visited our dentist in San Jose, CA, every six months for a checkup and cleaning. This will help ensure that your retainer is still in good shape and that your teeth are aligned correctly.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, visit Rafati Orthodontics at 827 Blossom Hill Rd., Suite E2, San Jose, CA 95123, or call 408-226-1234.