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Do I Need to Wear My Retainer Forever?

Retainers help maintain the results of braces or aligners. Your orthodontist will likely advise you to wear your retainer for an extended period. 

Can I eat with my retainer on?

It is recommended to take out removable retainers while eating to prevent potential damage. For fixed retainers, avoid consuming hard or sticky foods that may dislodge the wire.

What do I do if I lose or break my retainer?

If lost or broken, contact your orthodontist immediately. Getting a replacement or fixing it is crucial to avoid teeth shifting.

How long should I wear my retainer each day?

The duration varies depending on the advice of your orthodontist and the stage of your post-treatment. Always follow your orthodontist’s recommendations to ensure the stability and longevity of your orthodontic results.

Why does my retainer feel snug or tight?

If your retainer feels tight, it might indicate that your teeth have shifted slightly. It’s essential to wear your retainer as instructed to prevent such shifting. If the tightness causes discomfort or pain, consult your orthodontist for advice.

Some important advice about retainers.

Retainers work only when they are in the mouth. Removable retainers should be in one of two places: in your mouth, or in the case your orthodontist gave you. Removable retainers should not be placed on cafeteria trays. They can be thrown away quite easily. Removable retainers should not be wrapped in napkins or placed in pockets or purses. Napkins get tossed into the trash, retainers fall out of or get broken in pockets or purses. Keep retainers out of the reach of pets. Dogs in particular are attracted to retainers.

Will I need to visit the dentist?

Continue visiting your dentist for check-ups and cleanings at least every six months, or more often, if recommended.

What if the retainer doesn’t fit at all or feels painful?

Don’t force it. Contact your AAO orthodontist, who will evaluate your situation and determine what actions, if any, are needed. It could be as simple as making a new retainer or, if necessary, making some clear aligners to tweak a tooth or teeth back into proper position.

What happens if the retainer is broken or stolen?

If you lose or break a removable retainer, contact your orthodontist immediately about a replacement.

Will I continue to see the orthodontist post-treatment?

Your orthodontist may schedule periodic retainer checks after you receive your retainers. If you have removable retainers, be sure to bring them to the appointment.