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Though you will spend a significant amount of time wearing your braces, you will no doubt be happy to have them removed so you can showcase your beautiful new smile to the world. However, wearing braces is not the last step in orthodontics, as you will need to wear a retainer for a period as well to maintain your smile.

After wearing your braces for several months or even years to shift the alignment of your teeth, your smile will still need assistance to maintain the new positions and keep your teeth in place while they settle in the jaw. There is no set time period for how long to wear a retainer, as some patients may have a retainer for several months, while others wear a retainer permanently for the rest of their lives. Our orthodontist will provide custom instructions on how long you need to wear your retainer.

There are two different types of retainers, and these are fixed and removable. A fixed retainer is cemented behind the teeth to become a permanent appliance in your smile, and it requires the same brushing and flossing habits as your teeth, though you may find that a water flosser or floss threader is more effective than traditional floss string. You can take out a removable retainer to clean it in a solution of water and vinegar by scrubbing gently. Don’t use regular toothpaste, or else you could damage your retainer material.

It’s important to use the retainer case that comes with your appliance so that you can protect the retainer when it is not in your mouth. Make sure you always have the case with your so you can store the retainer in your pocket, purse or backpack and avoid having to receive an expensive replacement if it becomes lost.

To learn more about receiving braces and wearing an orthodontic retainer in Batavia, Illinois, we invite you to contact Wright Orthodontics at 630-208-1200 today for an appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Randy Wright.