Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How important are retainer checkups after getting my braces removed?"
I am a 28 year old woman happy to report I got my braces removed. I'm dilligent about wearing my retainer. Are regular checkups necessary. I wear the thing every night. Why do I need checkups?
Wearing a retainer after having your braces removed is the only way to make sure that the changes to your teeth from the braces remain permanent. In the same way that braces can slowly cause the alignment of your teeth to shift, in the absence of the braces your teeth may drift back to their old positions. You may not need to have your teeth checked as often as you were when the braces were still on, but it is definitely a good idea to continue seeing your dentist on a regular basis and your orthodontist as recommended. Good oral hygiene is important to keep your teeth healthy and working well throughout your entire life. It is recommended that you have your teeth cleaned at the dentist's office twice a year. At these appointments you can also have the plaque that accumulates over time removed from those 'difficult to reach' parts of your teeth. Checkups with your orthodontist are also important to make sure that your retainer continues to fit well and that the alignment of your teeth is still correct. Especially in the beginning after your braces come off, it is important to make sure that your new smile stays the way that it is--if teeth can move into alignment, they can move back out of alignment and it is much easier to correct this when spotted early.
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