Orthodontic Care

Why is My Retainer Important?

Dec 29 • 1 minute read

Many believe that once their braces come off, their teeth are permanently aligned. Without a retainer, however, teeth will begin shifting out of position. Wearing one is certainly not optional for patients who wish to preserve their beautiful smile. 
Dr. Nancy Phan provides custom retainers after orthodontic treatment, making them as comfortable as possible. She encourages her patients to be diligent in wearing retainers, as they will benefit their smile in the long term. 

Preserving Proper Alignment

Retainers ensure your new smile stays straight, especially right after braces are taken off. In the weeks following treatment, the teeth and jaw are still getting used to their new alignment and will need to be kept in place until the smile stabilizes. This means wearing a retainer for a few weeks or until your orthodontist instructs otherwise. Eventually, patients are cleared to wear the appliance only at night. By diligently wearing your retainer, you are safeguarding your dental and orthodontic health.

If you haven’t worn a retainer, teeth will revert to their original alignment. When relapse is significant, patients will need to undergo orthodontic treatment again to avoid aesthetic and dental health issues As orthodontics are a long-term investment to achieve lasting oral health and beauty, it’s important to protect your newly-aligned smile by wearing a retainer. This is especially applicable for children and teenagers who are undergoing braces treatments, as their teeth will easily revert back. 

Uncomfortable Retainer? Upgrade your Appliance 

If your retainer is uncomfortable to wear, you may need to have it re-fitted. Sometimes, retainers are made too tight and need a little adjustment. If removable appliances do not fit comfortably, fixed retainers are another option and are bonded to the backside of teeth. These permanent appliances are not visible in your smile and are recommended on a case-by-case basis, as they can be difficult to clean. 

Contact Dr. Nancy Phan for Retainer Assistance

Our board-certified San Jose orthodontist wants patients to feel as comfortable as possible once their braces come off. She also treats anyone with braces relapse, offering Invisalign and other aesthetic orthodontic treatments. If you have lost your retainer or the fit isn’t right, contact Dr. Phan.


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