Getting your braces removed is one orthodontic milestone, although the journey doesn’t end up at this. You’re required to follow up on your braces with retainers. Some people think that after their teeth can stay straight as usual even after braces have been removed.
How Retainers Work – Retainers are metal or plastic devices that keep one’s teeth aligned after the removal of braces and Invisalign. Retainers usually work by ensuring that teeth don’t move back to their original positions. They’re usually custom molded to one’s mouth immediately after completing the required treatment. Retainers use pressure and guidance actually to keep teeth in their new and straight position. The orthodontist’s usually custom different treatment plans for people since everyone has unique needs. The plan includes the best retainers as well as a specific time frame for its use. Invisible retainers aren’t the same since some are removable while others are permanently fixed behind the front teeth. The removable retainers are categorized into 2 as follows:
a. Hawley Retainers:- They’re mainly used for the upper teeth. They’re usually made of plastic, and they rest against the mouth’s roof, where there’s an attached wire that surrounds teeth.
b. Essix Retainers:- These kinds of retainers are almost similar to Invisalign aligners. Essix retainers are transparent, which makes them less noticeable compared to their counterparts Hawley retainers.
Top Reasons Why Retainers Are Important After Braces:-
1. They Stabilize Your Biting:- After the removal of braces, both the bone and the surrounding soft tissues require some time before they adapt to changes in tooth positioning. Retainers stabilize the new arrangement slowly by slowly, and after a certain duration, the teeth won’t shift from that position. The required time frame for wearing the retainers is at least 2 months, where you’re required to wear them for at least 12-24 hours per day.
2. Preventing Treatment Reversal:- After the removal of braces, your teeth will begin moving back to the old arrangement after some months. If you wear retainers every night for some months, you’ll prevent the treatment reversal. Since people have different bodies with different reactions, the time that everyone wears the retainer will vary.
3. Aligning Bones With Gums:- Although teeth alignment in a new position takes some time, this is also true for the bones and gums that surround the teeth. Retainers assist in accelerating alignment and stabilizing your bite.
4. They Maintain Space For New Teeth And Wisdom Teeth:- In most cases, braces are usually worn by teenagers and preteens, with developing bodies. They usually use retainers even when their wisdom teeth erupt. Using the retainers properly will ensure that the correct space will be left in the jaw for any new teeth, including wisdom teeth.
5. Maintaining Teeth Position:- Using braces to properly correct teeth gaps usually takes a longer period of time before your teeth stabilizing. This is also true for severely displaced teeth underbites and large overbites. All teeth to be moved for larger distances or repositioned must be held firmly in new spaces up to a point where the mouth adapts to the changes. Retainers usually assist in achieving this.
How To Take Care of Retainers – Due to the fact that retainers are worn regularly for some time, it’s essential to clean and maintain them. Unfortunately, some people underestimate this which makes the retainers to be very nasty, leading to disposal. However, if you’re keen on following the retainer care tips, then you won’t dispose of them off, and you’ll be able to maintain a perfect smile for long.
Cleaning Fixed Retainers – Fixed retainers usually stay in your mouth for at least 10 years. Therefore, it’s essential to clean and properly maintain them to make a significant difference. Lack of proper cleaning can even increase the chances of getting teeth cavities and gum infections. An orthodontist will give you a special floss type with a wire portion which makes it easy to thread it on your teeth and the retainers themselves.
Keeping Your Removable Retainers Clean – Removable retainers are removable as the name suggests. They provide a lot of conveniences since they can be removed when eating and drinking. However, it’s essential to ensure that they’re also cleaned regularly. It’s advisable to clean them using lukewarm water immediately after every meal. You can also use your toothpaste and toothbrush to clean the retainers every morning and night.