Teeth have a tendency to move out of alignment after they have been straightened. Its due to this that it is extremely important to use a teeth retainer following orthodontic treatment.
What is a teeth retainer?
A retainer is a device that fits in your mouth following successful completion of treatment with braces or invisalign. Despite there being a wide range of options available, they are usually categorized as either removable retainers, which can be removed from the mouth, or fixed retainers which are fitted to your teeth. It is necessary for all patients undergo a period of retention following orthodontic treatment, with your dentist offering advice as to which type of teeth retainer is best suited to your needs. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight and limit the possible ailments that can occur following certain treatments, and it is important to wear them as instructed.
Which type of retention will I need?
Every case is unique and the type of retention you have will be carefully selected to make sure it is suitable for you. The most commonly used retention protocol is removable retainers made of clear plastic for both the upper and lower teeth and a fixed wire bonded behind the bottom front teeth.
How might a removable retainer affect me?
Following orthodontic treatment, a removable retainer can feel quite tight on your teeth initially, which usually gradually subsides with regular use. Like all dental treatments, you may develop some difficulties when it comes to speech, as well as a slight lisp, which is why it is important to practise speaking with the teeth retainer in place in order for your speech to return to normal within a few days.
How might a fixed retainer affect me?
When it comes to fixed retention, it is important to make sure that you take extra care when it comes to cleaning as it is easier for plaque to form around the frame, and also for food pieces to become trapped within the frame itself.
Why is it important that I wear a retainer?
Retention is just as important as the braces that straighten your teeth, and with the successful completion of brace treatment it is crucial to protect the teeth by wearing a retainer advised by a dentist. Failing to follow this necessary step can lead to your teeth becoming crooked and makes it more likely for your teeth to move back into their original position, resulting in a further course of orthodontic treatment in order to straighten them again.
It is fundamental to avoid sugary drinks and snacks between meals and to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Retainer wear is your responsibility, so if any damage occurs to the structure of the teeth retainer or you simply misplace it, it is vital to contact your dentist as soon as possible.