The dental retainer is appropriately named, because it “retains” the marvelous changes you make to your smile and your bite during an orthodontic procedure. Retainers are especially important immediately after your procedure is finished because the bone surrounding your teeth has not quite “solidified” your new dentition. So while the retainer does not create any new movement of teeth, it does keep teeth from slipping back to old positions or into new, undesired locations.
Every orthodontic patient is different from the next. Therefore, the number of hours you need to wear a retainer each day, and for how long a period of time, depends on the treatment you received and the nature of your mouth. Patients might wear a retainer for only a few nights a week, every night or perhaps even during periods of the daytime. The important thing is to wear the retainer regularly, according to your Sacramento dentist’s prescription.
If you have a retainer, take good care of it and always bring it with you to your regular dental appointments. Then our dentists can check its condition, make sure it still fits and that you’re using it properly. Based on the state of your teeth, they can make adjustments, provide you a new retainer or change your retainer “prescription.” Remember that you spent a lot of time and effort to create a better smile. Your retainer is what allows you to keep that smile just the way it is!