Why wearing your retainer is so important after braces?

If you have finished your braces treatment, congratulations! Orthodontic treatment is a long process that requires significant commitment from you to make it a success. You will have spent a lot of time taking care of your braces and your teeth properly, so maintaining your new smile is going to be your next priority. One of the best ways of doing this is by making sure that you wear your retainer routinely following your orthodontic treatment.

What is a retainer?


A retainer is the name given to a device that is worn over the top of the teeth to prevent them from moving back into their original position. Many people are surprised to discover that there are actually two different types of retainer. These are fixed and removable retainers.


Fixed retainers.


Fixed retainers are not all that dissimilar to braces in that you need to take special care when brushing and flossing your teeth. They have a thin wire that covers the outer or inner face of the teeth and holds them in their new position so that they can’t shift.


Removable retainers.


As their name suggests, these are retainers that you can take out yourself should you need to. They are usually made from a wire that goes across the front of the teeth, and this is attached to an acrylic material with hooks that you can insert into your mouth and hook onto your teeth. However, you can also get transparent removable plastic retainers that are worn over the teeth instead. One of the benefits of some removable retainers is that they can be adjusted to continue moving the teeth slightly if necessary. However, since they are removable, you have to take responsibility for wearing them.


Exactly which type of retainer you are recommended will depend in your individual circumstances, and your orthodontist in Downey, CA will be able to recommend the most suitable variety. Similarly, how long and often you will need to wear your retainers will vary too. Initially, many patients start wearing them regularly for fairly long periods of time. However, eventually most will only need to wear their retainers overnight a few times per week to maintain their results.

Why is it so important to wear a retainer?


There are several important reasons why you should make sure that you wear your retainer as directed after braces.


Your retainer will stabilize your bite.


This is important as the bone and soft tissues will need time to adapt to the changes made, and your retainer will help prevent the bite from relapsing.


Your retainer will provide space for wisdom teeth.


Braces are usually worn during adolescence and many people won’t have had their wisdom teeth through by the time that their braces are removed. When you use your retainers as directed, enough space will be maintained in your jaw to accommodate wisdom teeth when they arrive.


Your retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting back.


Teeth can continue to move long after braces treatment is complete. It’s possible to prevent his happening using retainers which will hold them in their new positions.


A retainer can help with sound production.


Some people have difficulty saying certain sounds due to the placement of their teeth. However, a retainer can help you to form the sounds correctly. It can also help to correct a speech impediment called a tongue thrust where the tongue protrudes through the teeth when you walk.


Want more information about the importance of wearing a retainer? Call Ofir Orthodontics in Downey CA at (562) 396-9820 to speak to our dedicated dental team today.

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