7 Tips to Help You Adjust to Your Retainer

adjust to retainer after braces lawrenceville orthodontics

Retainers are a non-negotiable after orthodontic treatment. You might not want to wear anything on your teeth anymore or hate the idea of a lifetime of retainer wear, but this small effort is worth it. A retainer keeps your newly aligned teeth in place after many months – and sometimes years – of hard work.

1. Be Patient

Patience is important to nurture when it comes to orthodontics, whether you’re just getting started or wrapping up the entire journey. A retainer is a new but guaranteed element and, unless you are an Invisalign patient who is used to wearing trays, it’ll feel different and weird. Give yourself a week or two to get used to the sensation of a tray on your teeth.

2. Anticipate Discomfort

As you know, orthodontics can sometimes make you uncomfortable. Adjustments and check-ups can result in pressure, irritated soft tissues, and the need to stick to soft and cold foods. Your retainer will also deliver a little discomfort at the start. It will be very snug, you might struggle to get the retainer in and out, and expect to have a lisp for a few days. Once you’re used to having the tray in place, though, you’ll barely notice its presence.

3. Do Some Prep

Your orthodontist welcomes all questions. They are happy to hear that you’re interested in aftercare and are there to help you follow the rules, so your straight smile stays that way. Ask about possible options when it comes to retainer type. Get answers about what to expect and the typical retainer experience. Ask if you will have to wear a retainer 24/7 or only at night. When you know what’s coming, everything is easier.

4. Keep It Clean

Wearing your retainer is one thing. It’s also essential to take care of the appliance. This means cleaning it daily and soaking it weekly, so it stays clear, fresh, and odor-free. Remember too that the retainer holds onto your teeth all night – which means if you don’t brush and floss your teeth well before putting your retainer in place, bacteria and plaque lingers in the small spaces and decay can develop.

5. Rely on Your Case

If you were an Invisalign patient, you already know the importance of relying on the case for your aligners. The same goes for your retainer. Keep it stored safe, clean, and dry in its case when it’s not in your mouth to prevent damage from occurring.

6. Accept the Inevitable

You can lament wearing a retainer every night for the rest of your life, but this reality isn’t all that daunting once you’ve made the effort for a few weeks. It will be just one more step in your nighttime routine like brushing and flossing.

7. There Is Only One Adjustment Period

You only need to adjust to wearing your retainer once in your life. Unlike the braces journey when you had discomfort every six to eight weeks, this soreness and gum inflammation only occurs once and the feeling is temporary.

Interested in braces of Invisalign? Curious about retainers? Talk to your Lawrenceville Orthodontist for information. Contact us to schedule a consultation.