Debunking Myths about Retainers

3D scanned retainers

Have you believed any of these myths about retainers? We are debunking myths about retainers and giving you the truth! Retainers and our knowledge about them have advanced, even in the last couple of years!

1. MYTH: You only have to wear retainers for a year or two.

Chances are if you are over the age of 45 and you had orthodontics as an adolescent, you once believed this myth. Unfortunately, just isn’t true! Retainers retain your teeth. Aka, they hold your teeth in place.

Thus, retainers are for life – so long as you want to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment! Dr. Gutierrez recommends our patients wear retainers full-time at first. Through a series of retainer checks, he then determines when to switch to night-time only.

Our Katy, Texas orthodontic practice also offers clear removable retainers. These are much more comfortable compared to the original Hawley (wired) retainers. The advancement in the material makes them more durable as well.

2. MYTH: Your teeth will only move after ortho if they’re falling out.

Our teeth have memory and will want to move back toward where they were. If you are not wearing your retainer consistently after orthodontic treatment, you may notice your teeth start shifting. This can cause a change in your bite, over time as well.

Do not fear! This does not mean your teeth are falling out. Are you practicing good oral health at home and visiting your dentist at least twice a year? If so, there shouldn’t be any concern about your teeth falling out.

Poor oral habits such as smoking and plaque build-up (from not brushing/flossing) can cause irritation, infection, and/or disease. It would only be in this case that the roots on your teeth deteriorate over time. These factors would be cause for concern of your teeth falling out. If this describes your current oral habits, we recommend visiting a dentist for an x-ray.

Your teeth moving after orthodontics is most likely due to not wearing your retainer. It does not mean your teeth are falling out!

3. MYTH: Retainers will move your teeth.

We’ve had patients come in after months of not wearing a retainer with the hopes that a new one will move their teeth back straight. This belief is a myth! As we discuss before, retainers keep your teeth in place. Without them, you will experience shifting.

In our office, we offer two options at this point. First, retreat and use clear aligners or metal braces to straighten your teeth back out again. Second, get a new retainer with the understanding that they will only keep your teeth in the position they are when the new retainer is made.

As you can see, retainers are simple and beneficial -when used! We want you to remember these three important truths about retainers.

  1. Retainers are for life, so long as you want to maintain your straight
  2. Your teeth moving from lack of retainer wear does not mean your teeth are falling out.
  3. Retainers retain. Their purpose is to keep your teeth from moving back to their original place!

At Katy ClearChoice Orthodontics, we love creating healthy, beautiful smiles that will last a lifetime! We are always available to answer any retainer questions you may have! Feel free to call us at (281) 392-0888.

Keep Smiling!

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