Why Wear a Retainer After Braces?
Retainers are dental appliances used after active orthodontic treatment. They’re custom-made appliances that consist of a mix of both plastic and metal.
There are several variations available today, with transparent retainers being the most commonly used. Patients usually wear retainers after removing their braces, but some people use them to correct minor tooth problems that don’t require braces.
Is it Important to Wear Retainers?
If you’re going to straighten your teeth, you’ll have to wear retainers to keep your teeth in their new position. The bones and tissues take a year or more to settle after orthodontic treatment. During this period, retainers hold the teeth back in place. Without retainers, there is a great chance of relapse. This means the teeth can go back to their former position and the patient may have to wear braces again.
How Long Will You Have to Wear Retainers?
This depends on the type of oral problem you were suffering from. If you had big gaps in the teeth or several crooked teeth, you will have to wear retainers for more than a year. You may have to wear your retainers all day for the first few months after taking off your braces. The amount of time you’ll have to wear them will reduce as the months go by.
If you’re suffering from a problem known as tongue thrust, your dentist will give you tongue cage retainers. These retainers have metallic bars that stop you from thrusting your tongue. There are also special retainers available for patients suffering from temporomandibular joint pains. Patients have to wear these retainers until the condition subsides.
Are Retainers Removable?
Not all retainers are removable. Fixed retainers are ideal for patients whose teeth are likely to face relapse. They’re made up of metallic wires fixed to the backside of the teeth. They’re not as easy to clean as removable retainers. They may also break if the patient bites on hard foods. Their biggest advantage is that they’re bonded in place, so patients often forget about them once they’re cemented in place.
Tips for Patients:
- If you’re wearing removable retainers, clean them every time you brush your teeth.
- Visit the dentist if you develop a sore because of your retainer.
- Avoid leaving your retainers out in the open. They will attract dust and breed bacteria.
- Never immerse them in hot water as they may get damaged.
- If you have fixed retainers, use threader floss to keep your teeth clean. Also talk to your doctor about using water floss.
Coburg Dental Group
If you’re looking for orthodontic treatment or family dentist in Northcote, Preston or Heidelberg, visit the professionals at Coburg Dental Group. Coburg Dental Group has been practising family dentistry for more than 80 years. We specialise in general, cosmetic and laser dentistry. We offer interest free payments and treatments under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule and other government programs.
Our services include teeth whitening, orthodontics, extractions, dental implants and cosmetic dentistry. Our staff are multi-lingual and our practitioners are willing to offer home visits for the elderly. We also use the latest pain-free technologies for dental fillings and tooth extractions. You can now undergo treatment in a comfortable and stress-free environment.