After having braces for a long period of time, when they are finally removed can be a great relief. However, using a retainer provides the support and structure required to keep teeth straight after having your braces removed. In this article, we will explore what the benefits of wearing a retainer are, and if they are essential to having a straight smile.
What moves your teeth?
Any type of pressure applied can result in moving your teeth. Even simple acts such as thumb sucking, nail biting swallowing patterns can cause your teeth to shift into different and awkward positions. These mostly affect us when we are younger, and still developing these habits. Later on, new teeth growing in such as your wisdom teeth can also cause movement in your teeth and may require surgery to be corrected or removed. Braces balance the pressure we have put on our teeth through the years, and correct them into a straight position, so using a retainer after having braces removed, help them stay in place and strengthen them through this process.
When should I wear my retainer?
The most important time for regular retainer use is within the first three months. This is due to the bone surrounding you teeth needs time to adjust and strengthen to its new position, and can be easily shifted if not looked after carefully. From then it is generally advised to wear your retainer as much as possible, or at least every night. This will give you the most chance of keeping your teeth straight and in line.
What happens if I don’t wear my retainer?
The effects can vary from person to person, some people will find that their isn’t much difference after not wearing them for a prolonged period of time, and others may find their teeth moving back in a matter of weeks. However it should be noted that your teeth will begin to move over time if you are not wearing a retainer. Over a few months you may develop an over bite or an increase in teeth movement. After years have passed, your teeth will begin to get more and more crowded whilst collapsing towards your tongue.
What to do if I have lost/broken my retainer?
Retainers are often lost, discarded or broken. This, being such a common issue, means that replacing a retainer is quite an easy process, and generally happens every 1-2 years. Make sure you visit your orthodontist to enquire about a new replacement if you retainer has been lost or distorted, and they will fit you with a new one to wear.
Are you looking to replace your retainer? Why contact one dental clinic today to see how we can help you!