Why Do I Need To Wear a Retainer

Topsmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics patients in Winnipeg work hard to restore their smiles. Dr. Alvaro, Dr. Adriana, and Dr. Vodrey can help you restore yours, also! Our team has two accessible locations in Winnipeg. No matter what side of town you’re on, we’re easy to find. Our process often involves braces. But did you know braces aren’t the finish line of the orthodontics marathon? Your smile isn’t just an extension of your mouth. It’s something remarkable that no one else in the world has except for you. View it as an investment. You’d want to protect an investment. That’s where retainers come in. Retainers help preserve your new smile over a lifetime. But if you’ve ever been curious about why you need to wear a retainer, we’re here to help.  

What Distinguishes Retainers From Braces

While braces and retainers both serve the purpose of straightening teeth, they differ in several significant ways. Braces have metal brackets and wires that gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. As you probably know, Dr. Alvaro, Dr. Adriana, and Dr. Vodrey periodically reactivate the wires to ensure your teeth move as planned.

Retainers, on the other hand, maintain the position of your teeth after you’ve completed your braces treatment. They prevent your teeth from returning to their original position. Yes, that can and WILL happen! 

Another difference between braces and retainers is how long you’ll need to wear them. Braces typically take anywhere from around 12 to 24 months to give you the desired results. But you’ll wear a retainer for life. Dr. Alvaro, Dr. Adriana, and Dr. Vodrey will determine each patient’s wear time after completing their treatment. You’ll place the retainer in before you go to sleep and remove it the following morning.

How Does a Retainer Work?

When designing your retainer, our Topsmiles team will start with the structure of your teeth. Just like your braces, we will engineer your retainer for you specifically. At Topsmiles, one size most definitely does not fit all. Instead, your retainer won’t fit anyone else’s teeth. It’s exclusively for you. 

Retainers help preserve your new smile, but if you've ever been curious about why you need to wear a retainer, we're here to help. 

Types of Retainers

There are two different kinds of retainers. Removeable and fixed. As the names suggest, removable retainers can be taken out. Fixed ones cannot. Which one is best for you? Speak to your doctor for more details.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are the most common type at Topsmiles. We make them in-house! That’s right! We don’t send your results to a lab; we make them from transparent plastic at both of our two Winnipeg offices. The plastic is custom-molded to fit the shape of your teeth, ensuring a comfortable fit.

If it’s mealtime and you need to take out your removable retainer, you can easily do that. Convenience is one of its attributes. Finished with dinner and need to brush your teeth before bed? Feel free to take it out. But remember it! Make sure you keep it clean and put it in its case if you’re not using it. 

However, losing or damaging your retainer is always risky because they’re removable. To avoid this, be sure to keep your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it.

Fixed Retainers

If you are a candidate for them, fixed retainers bond to the back of your teeth with special dental cement. Since you can’t take them out, they’re pretty much impossible to lose! 

One of the advantages of fixed retainers is that they’re always working to keep your teeth in the correct position, even when you’re not actively thinking about it. They’re also less likely to get lost or damaged since they’re permanently attached to your teeth.

However, because they’re fixed, they can make it much harder to floss and brush your teeth properly. Our incredible team at Topsmiles in Winnipeg will provide you with special flossing tools to help you keep your teeth and retainer clean.

Caring for Your Retainer

Caring for your retainer is crucial if you want it to last and work effectively. Here are some tips for properly caring for your retainer:

Please keep it clean. 

Just like with braces, food particles can get stuck in your retainer, leading to bacteria buildup and potential oral health problems. Be sure to clean your retainer daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap.

Keep up with the case.

Not using your retainer at the moment? Maybe you packed it away for a trip? Make sure you hold on to the case! Always keep it in its case if you aren’t using it. 

Avoid heat. 

Your retainer is made of plastic, which can melt if exposed to heat. Keep your retainer away from hot water, dishwashers, and direct sunlight.

Follow the doctors’ instructions.

Wear your as Dr. Alvaro, Dr. Adriana, and Dr. Vodrey have told you. Then, you’ll never go wrong. You’ve got to wear your retainer for the prescribed amount of time each day, as the doctors recommend.

Retainers help preserve your new smile, but if you've ever been curious about why you need to wear a retainer, we're here to help. 

Get Your Retainer At Topsmiles

Orthodontics represents a marathon, not a sprint. No quick fix will give you a healthy, stunning smile overnight. Once you finish your regular orthodontic treatment, you’ll have completed the first part of a marathon. The retainer is the second part. And you will likely wear your retainer for much longer. Still have questions about retainers in Winnipeg? Come visit our team at Topsmiles! Head here to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Alvaro, Dr. Adriana, and Dr. Vodrey can’t wait to see your dazzling new smile.