Getting your braces off is a huge day. You are finally allowed to have popcorn, chewing gum, and all the other foods that were prohibited during your orthodontic treatment. However, the removal of your braces is not quite the end of your treatment.

Most people believe that once your braces come off, your teeth remain straight forever. This is why they are usually shocked when the dentist provides them with this weird thing made of plastic and sometimes metal wires – aka dental retainers.

Retainers may still be uncommon knowledge because they are a relatively new discovery and didn’t really exist some 20 or so years ago. As research on dental structures expanded, dentists began to realize that no matter which treatment you received, as you got older, your teeth started shifting to their natural position again. To prevent this from happening, dental retainers were introduced.

What Are Dental Retainers?

Retainers are pretty self-explanatory. They retain the shape of your teeth. It is a plastic or metal appliance used to keep the teeth aligned after the patient has completed their orthodontic treatment.

After removing your braces, your dentist will take a dental impression of your teeth. This will then be used to create a custom retainer for you. They apply sufficient pressure on your teeth to prevent them from drifting back to their original state, therefore retaining them in their new position.

If you fail to follow your dentist’s instructions regarding your retainers, you may not be able to maintain your teeth after the treatment. In some cases, this causes people to get braces all over again.

Make sure to wear your retainers during the recommended time frame and preserve your new and improved smile forever.

If you are in need of braces, visit Garlock Orthodontics for a consultation now.