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Are Retainers in Alamogordo for Life? The Truth about Long-Term Treatment

Are Retainers in Alamogordo for Life? The Truth about Long-Term Treatment

Are Retainers in Alamogordo for Life? The Truth about Long-Term Treatment Retainers in Alamogordo. MVO. Metal Braces, Lingual Braces, Invisalign, Retainers and more in Alamogordo, NM 88310. Call:575-437-7900

For many patients, the day their orthodontic treatment concludes is the day they have eagerly awaited. After months or even years of adjustments and treatment steps, they’re finally free from the confines of braces. But in most cases, we recommend wearing retainers in Alamogordo as the final treatment step, which is easier than you might think.

But ‘Are retainers for life?’ We’ll provide insights for Mountain View Orthodontics patients on maintaining their precious new smiles.

The Purpose of Retainers

Retainers serve a dual purpose in orthodontic treatment, post-braces. Firstly, they keep the teeth aligned while the surrounding oral structures—bones, gums, and muscles—adapt and stabilize. Secondly, retainers act as a safeguard, preventing any potential regression or ‘relapse’ as the intense pressure on teeth from braces is no longer present.

Maintaining Teeth Alignment

Staying consistent with wearing retainers as prescribed is crucial. Initially, we might recommend patients wear them at all times except when eating, brushing, and flossing. Over time, this regimen can typically be reduced to only while sleeping, but the timeline varies for each patient.

Preventing Relapse

Teeth naturally tend to drift without retainers. The first few months post-braces are the most vulnerable period for relapse. Hence, retainers offer continuous stabilization and correction, ensuring the investment in aligned teeth pays off with a long-lasting smile.

Types of Retainers

There are two primary types of retainers prescribed by orthodontists, each with benefits and considerations.

Removable Retainers

Often constructed of plastic or metal, you can take these retainers out for cleaning and meals. Their versatility is appreciated by many patients, allowing them to maintain oral hygiene without obstruction or dietary adjustments.

Fixed (Bonded) Retainers

Typically, a fixed retainer consists of a thin wire bonded to the back of the front teeth. Their permanence and invisibility grant peace of mind, especially for those concerned about daily retainer wear and potential misplacement.

Retainers for Life?

Whether retainers are for life varies significantly from patient to patient and relies on several influencing factors.

Factors Influencing Long-Term Retainer Use

  • Type of Malocclusion: Patients with severe initial misalignments may need retainers for an extended period or even permanently.
  • Aging Process: The natural alignment of teeth changes with age. Retaining their orthodontically corrected position long-term may be more challenging for older patients.
  • Compliance and Adaptability: Some individuals adapt well to the routine of retainer use and may choose to continue as a preventive measure, while others may find it more challenging.

Pros and Cons of Indefinite Retainer Wear


  • Long-term Results: Indefinite retainer wear can ensure the most extended, robust orthodontic outcome.
  • Preventive: It’s arguably the best defense against future dental misalignments.


  • Cost and Maintenance: There’s an ongoing cost and effort associated with retainer care and maintenance.
  • Oral Hygiene Challenges: Correctly cleaning and flossing around retainers can become more difficult over time.

Tips for Retainer Care

Proper care and maintenance of retainers are vital for their effective function and longevity.

Cleaning and Maintenance Advice

  • Daily Cleaning: Regularly brush and rinse your retainer with a non-abrasive cleaner to avoid the build-up of plaque and bacteria.
  • Handling: Always handle your retainer with clean hands to avoid transferring germs to your mouth.

Regular Follow-Ups with Dr. Saperstein

Staying connected with your orthodontist is essential. Dr. Saperstien will monitor your oral health and the integrity of your retainer, advising on any adjustments or replacements as necessary.

Retainers in Alamogordo

Retainers can help you maintain the stunning results of orthodontic treatments. Expert advice and attentive care of your retainers will go a long way in ensuring a future of healthy, aligned smiles. They indeed play a vital role in ongoing dental well-being. Remember, the straighter the path, the broader the smile.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliot Saperstein on quality orthodontic treatment in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Our treatments at Mountain View Orthodontics include metal braces, Invisalign, and more.

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