People everywhere—from teenagers to adults—strive to flash a Hollywood-esque smile. This means bridging all the awkward gaps and fixing bite problems with one of the most common dental treatments: braces! Getting braces is often a comprehensive plan that can take months to years, depending on the severity of your pearly white’s misalignment. No matter the time frame, we’re sure that a lot of people are excited to complete their treatment and say goodbye to an uncomfortable, metallic smile, but after the big reveal, you’re not completely out of the woods from having to wear another dental hardware. You also need to follow it up with retainers to help keep all your progress intact for the next few years. What are Retainers? Retainers are custom-made aligners made from plastic and metal. They’re molded to perfectly fit every unique set of teeth and mouth, so not all are made the same for everyone. There are also three types of retainers made for different needs: Bonded Retainers – Just as the moniker suggests, bonded retainers are attached to your teeth, similar to how braces work. This is done for people who need to wear retainers 24/7 for the next few months to complete their orthodontic treatment. Hawley Retainers – One of the most common types of retainers that most people know, the Hawley retainers are made from plastic and wires that can be taken out whenever you need to clean your teeth or eat. Clear Plastic Retainers – The more modernized versions are designed to be clear, removable trays, the virtually invisible plastic makes it an appealing choice for those who don’t want to wear any visually disruptive retainers. Why You Need to Wear Retainers After Braces Remember that wearing removable trainers—whether the Hawley retainer or the clear plastic retainer—needs to be worn for as long as possible. At the very least, you need to strictly follow your orthodontists’ instructions and only remove your retainers when eating mills or brushing your teeth since it ensures the bone can maintain the new teeth positioning set by your braces. In addition to keeping your newly straightened teeth from shifting, retainers can also be recommended to patients who need them to keep their tongues from thrusting whenever they speak. Others may also need retainers to prevent patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) from grinding their teeth at night. The Bottom Line: The Importance of Wearing Retainers After Braces Beyond achieving a straighter smile and boosting your appearance, getting braces is important to your oral health in more ways than one. But fixing your misalignment and bite issues through braces is only half the battle—you’ll need to solidify your orthodontic treatment and maintain your new, dazzling smile by wearing retainers for the next few years. Are You Looking for the Best Dentist in the USA? Your smile plays a pivotal role in your health, so beyond achieving a picture-perfect appearance, it’s best to get your teeth checked with the right dentist who can help straighten your oral problems. If you need cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, dental implants, and retainers in Chattanooga, TN, schedule an appointment with us today at Sawrie Orthodontics! We strive to give you the best treatment possible and restore the confidence in your smile. For more information about our services, don’t hesitate to contact our dentists at (423) 624-8217.