Retainers are an important part of orthodontic treatment. They are often worn after the patient has his or her braces removed. Without retainers, your all of the work that you put into your braces may be ruined. Here is what you should know about retainers after braces.
What Do Retainers Do?
Retainers hold the position of your teeth after braces are removed. Braces apply a lot of pressure to move your teeth into the proper position. Once they are removed, your teeth could quickly spread back to where they were without assistance. Retainers are used to hold your teeth where your braces put them, which requires less pressure than your braces used. Retainers are also temporary and can be removed without special equipment.
Why Retainers Matter
The process of straightening your teeth involves applying an immense amount of pressure on your teeth so they move into position and your gums start to grow around them to support them. That pressure has to be relieved at some point, which is when your braces are removed. Your mouth needs time to grow enough support for your teeth to keep them in place, which means you will need to keep the pressure on them. Otherwise, your teeth will drift apart.
Retainers are important because they allow your teeth to permanently set in the right position. Under the pressure that your braces create, they can’t fully heal in place. By removing that pressure your teeth can adjust and heal fully. The retainer just makes sure that they are where they need to be during the final healing process.
Correct Other Issues
Retainers also help correct a range of other issues. For example, children with speech impediments have been able to address them by wearing retainers. Retainers change the overall shape of your mouth and you have to learn how to talk with them in. Retainers can also help with breathing problems as they apply pressure to the soft palate, which can change the way that you breathe.
Retainers are often worn for hours each day, and work best when those hours are continuous. In most cases, dentists recommend wearing a retainer overnight. This method makes sense since you will likely be asleep for many hours at a time. However, it is possible and can be recommended that you wear your retainer during the day as well. It is important to stick to your dentist’s recommendations. Any deviation from it could lead to problems with your teeth later.
While most retainers are slightly different, they all have similar care instructions. The care instructions are very similar to braces, so the adjustment is pretty easy. They come with a case to keep it in when you are not using it. You have to brush your retainer daily to keep it clean. You also have to avoid certain drinks when it is in, and you should remove it when you eat. If you take good care of it, it will last you the entire time that you need it.
If you need a quality retainer, reach out to a qualified dentist who can help you get fitted for one. Proper care and maintenance will have your teeth looking great and reduce the need for a retainer. If you need braces or Invisalign in the Greater Hartford area, contact Greater Hartford Orthodontics today at 860-667-8277 to schedule your initial evaluation.