If getting straight teeth was a process for you, you want to do everything you can to keep your smile in line. When you first get your braces off or finish your Invisalign® treatment, you’re probably plenty motivated to wear your retainer to protect your newly aligned smile.
But as time wears on, wearing your retainer can feel like more of a hassle. Dr. Maya Oliver understands — but she also knows how important retainers are in preserving your results. So to help her patients at Georgetown Orthodontics in Washington, DC, and beyond, we want to highlight five benefits of retainers.
Here are some key reasons to keep wearing yours.
#1: It keeps your teeth in line
It takes time for your teeth to settle into their new positions. Your bones, muscles, and gum tissue all have to adapt to the changes that your orthodontic treatment caused. If you don’t wear your retainer for the recommended time after your teeth get straight, they could move back out of alignment.
#2: It defends against tongue thrust
Some people thrust their tongue forward when swallowing, talking, or even when the tongue is at rest. If you do have tongue thrust, it could push your teeth forward, ruining your newly straightened smile.
Fortunately, Dr. Oliver can give you a special retainer to act as a line of defense here, holding your teeth where they should be.
#3: It helps you avoid clenching
Your mouth will feel different after you get your braces off or stop wearing Invisalign. Some people clench their jaw as they adapt to the new sensations. Dr. Oliver can design your retainer so you get a reminder not to clench and defense against clenching, helping you avoid problems like headaches and teeth grinding.
#4: It can finish the job
If you still have some small gaps in your teeth after orthodontic treatment is complete, Dr. Oliver can fit you with a retainer that continues gently guiding those spaces closed.
#5: It protects your oral health
Straight teeth are easier to clean. By wearing your retainer, you maintain the work your braces or Invisalign treatment completed. This makes it easier to brush and floss, helping you keep not just a straight smile, but also a pearly white one.
If you have trouble wearing your retainer or remembering to bring it with you, Colgate has some good tips:
- Always keep it in the same spot (like your keys)
- Make sure your purse, backpack, etc. has sufficient space to store your retainer case
- Incentivize kids to wear their retainers with small treats, especially in the first few weeks
Retainers can play a big role in keeping your smile straight and healthy. To get a comfortably fitting retainer or one to address specific challenges like tongue thrust or clenching, call our office at 202-600-8060 today.