Though you and your braces will spend a lot of time together, you will probably be excited to have them removed. When that day comes, you will be ready to show off your beautiful new smile to everyone you know. However, following the removal of your braces, you will need to wear a retainer for a time, and we can offer further explanation on this. Your braces may be part of your smile for months and even years to help your teeth shift into a better alignment. However, your teeth still need some help maintaining their positions in your jaw, and while your braces were responsible for shifting your teeth the retainer that you receive after the braces are what keep your teeth in place. There is no traditional amount of time required to wear a retainer, as some patients need one for several months, while others receive a permanent retainer they will wear for the rest of their lives. We encourage you to listen to the orthodontist and follow his instructions as to how to wear your retainer. You can receive two different types of retainers. A fixed retainer is a permanent appliance that is cemented behind the teeth, and it needs to be brushed and flossed just like the natural teeth, though it may be optimal to use a water flosser or floss threader over traditional floss string. If you have a removable retainer, you can clean it by scrubbing gently with a solution of water and vinegar. Avoid the use of regular toothpaste, as this can damage the material. You can receive a retainer case from the orthodontist to protect your retainer when it is not being worn. You should make a habit of carrying the retainer in its case and holding it in your pocket, purse or backpack so that it doesn’t become lost and require an expensive replacement. If you are looking into receiving braces and would like to speak with Dr. Joseph Wilson about your questions regarding orthodontic retainers in Yuma, Arizona, we invite you to make an appointment at Yuma Orthodontics, Inc. by calling 928-343-9559 today.