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If you wear braces, or are thinking about getting them, at some point in time, the dentist will decide that the time has arrived to take them off. It may take many months, or maybe two years, but at some point, your braces will be removed.

Your braces have been moving your teeth into better alignment. However, when your braces are removed, your teeth and your jaw ligaments will need time to settle into their new positions. To help them do this, your dentist will have you wear a retainer. Your may have to wear your retainer for several months, and some people have to wear a retainer to bed every night for the rest of their lives. No matter what, you will should wear your retainer for the length of time directed by your dentist. Doing so will ensure that your teeth don’t drift back into their original positions.

A fixed retainer is placed behind your teeth and is secured with dental cement. It needs to be carefully brushed at night, and you need to floss the wire that runs behind your teeth. If you have trouble reaching that area with floss, try using a water flosser or a floss threader. A removable retainer should be gently cleaned with a water and vinegar solution, and placed in a denture soaking solution if you take them out at night, or need to remove them for an extended period of time.

Your dentist will give you a carrying case of for your retainer. You should get in the habit of placing your retainer in that case whenever you need to remove it during the day, and you should also make a habit of keeping your case in your pocket, purse, backpack or briefcase. Retainers are very expensive to replace.

If you are thinking about getting braces, or if you will be getting your braces off soon, you should talk with our dentist, Dr. Terence Lau about retainers. To make an appointment at Mid-Valley Dental Care in Northridge, California, call 818-886-3500 today.