Retainers for Life

May 6, 2012 News

SAVAGE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – Retainers may initially cause you discomfort or feelings of insecurity, but the rewards of wearing them far outweigh the sacrifices.

Adult and children’s orthodontists all over the country are falling into alignment regarding their opinions of retainer wear.

Here at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics, Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Prior Lake and Minneapolis orthodontist, tells patients to make retainer use a part of life for the rest of their lives.

“Your orthodontist may recommend that you wear your retainers on a daily basis for the first year or two after your braces are removed,” says Dr. Bonvino, who also is an Invisalign provider.

During that time, the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth is stabilizing, and the structure your retainers provide is important to keeping your new smile straight.

Recommendations vary on how often you should wear your retainers after that point, but the general consensus among orthodontic professionals is that wearing retainers periodically for a lifetime is the best option.

Muscles surrounding your teeth will place pressure on them throughout your lifetime, causing them to shift and move. Your wisdom teeth may not have erupted by the time your braces are removed, so wearing your retainers occasionally after the initial required period of time can help preserve your orthodontic investment.

We recommend wearing retainers at night, at least several days a week.

“After you’ve completed treatment and worn your retainers for the prescribed time, we will switch you to maintenance mode,” Dr. Bonvino says. “Basically, that means if you don’t sleep in your retainer, you should at least pop it in every few days. If you feel pressure when you wear it, that’s your signal to wear your retainer until it feels comfortable again.”

Your retainers also help to foster bone growth after your teeth have been repositioned by orthodontic treatment, say the Minneapolis orthodontics specialists. The more often your teeth are held in a stable, straight position, the longer your smile will stay that way.

It is important that you follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you for wearing your retainers post-treatment. Your orthodontist’s goal is to help preserve your smile forever. But after your braces are removed, it is up to you how your smile looks.

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