Nothing is more exciting than having your orthodontic braces removed after weeks of discomfort and uneasiness. Finally, your teeth are free, and you can now wear a broad smile without feeling awkward.
Nevertheless, you must follow up the braces with a set of retainers to prevent any orthodontic relapses. This might be the last thing you want to hear, but wearing retainers is more of a necessity rather than a luxury.
So What Are Retainers?
As the name implies, retainers are special devices that keep your teeth in place after undergoing orthodontic treatment. Apparently, they prevent your once crooked teeth from reverting to their original state (before wearing braces). It is therefore advisable to wear retainers regularly, for a specific period of time.
Here are 5 other benefits of wearing retainers after orthodontic realignment:
1. Maintains Necessary Space for New Teeth
Notably, the majority of the people who wear braces are either very young, or in their teenage years. By keeping the existing teeth in place, retainers help maintain reasonable spaces in the jaw. This ensures that new teeth do not crowd the mouth.
Without the space, new teeth will be crooked, and this might lead to oral conditions such as gum disease and cavities.
2. Strengthens and Stabilizes The Bite
Braces not only interfere with the alignment of the teeth, but also the surrounding tissues and bone. When the braces are removed, retainers keep these tissues and bones in place, until they get used to the new alignment. In the long term, this stabilizes the bite, and reduces shakiness when chewing hard foods. With this in mind, it is therefore advisable to wear retainers for 12 to 22 hours (daily) to stabilize the bite.
3. Prevents Relapses and Reversal
As mentioned earlier, retainers keep the gums, jaw and teeth in the required positions until they eventually adapt and stick by themselves. However, to achieve this, you need to wear the retainer for a few months. Preteens and teenagers may have to wear their retainers for a few years, since their developing dentures are likely to relapse.
4. Helps in Shaping the Mouth and Gums
The mouth, just like most other organs, can adapt to different situations after some time. With retainers, the mouth is forced to adapt to the new teeth alignment, since the device leaves no chance for teeth and gums to develop outside the set line.
Helpful Tips For Wearing Retainers
- Before and after wearing retainers, it is important to:
- Strictly follow the guidelines written on the retainer box as well as instructions from your dentist.
- Maintain the same home care routine as you did with the braces.
- In case of mouth irritation after wearing the retainer, use a recommended sore rinse.
Here is the deal…
For your teeth alignment to succeed, you need to wear your retainer diligently for the duration specified by your dentist. This will not only save you the pain and discomfort of treating relapses, but also strengthen your mouth and bite as well.
It’s as simple as that!