Retention is a critical part of your orthodontic journey. Although your teeth are straight, they may shift out of alignment over time. Your orthodontist will design and make retainers that fit your teeth precisely to stabilize and preserve the results you have achieved.
Many patients minimize the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices recommended to keep your teeth in alignment. If you do not wear your retainer after treatment, your teeth can move out of alignment and undo all of the progress you made during treatment.
Usually, a retainer is made of plastic and metal and is custom-designed for each child or adult to wear once his/her braces are removed. Since teeth are not set rigidly in the jawbone(s), they will start to move and shift as soon as your braces are removed. The goal of the orthodontic retention plan is to minimize changes after the braces come off.
You will have to care for your retainers just like you cared for other appliances in your mouth. Most retainers are removable so you will have to keep track of them, as well. Retainers will be most effective if you follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on wear and care.