Getting braces is only the first step to having perfectly straight teeth. Retainers are often used alongside braces – either before or after, to achieve that straight and even smile. Retainers are designed to hold the teeth in position to achieve that straight alignment throughout the jaw.
Without the use of a retainer – especially after the braces have been removed, you can run the risk of having your teeth move back, shifting into an uneven, crooked position. For some people, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve had your braces on, without a retainer your teeth could start to move, which can result in wasting thousands of dollars down the drain.
If you’re not too familiar with retainers, here are some of the top FAQs to learn so you can be prepared when the time comes to wear one.
What Are The Two Types of Retainers and How Do They Differ?
There are two types of retainers – fixed retainers which are permanent, and removable retainers that you wear only at night. Fixed retainers are typically worn and maintained for several years and sit at the back of the teeth unseen. And removable retainers are made of either a transparent plastic mold or wires and clasps. There is no single type for everyone, and your dentist or orthodontist will recommend what they believe to be best for your situation.
How Long Does it Take to Adjust to Retainers?
Your retainer will feel a little odd at first, but you will get used to it over time. If your retainer needs tightening there may be some minor discomfort and pain, but this will ease as you get used to it over the course of a few days.
Is Removing a Retainer Recommended?
Taking out the retainer for a period could result in your teeth shifting out of place. And you may experience some pain and discomfort when you try to put your retainer back on. It only takes a little amount of time for your teeth to begin to shift, so always wear your retainer as directed by your dentist for optimal results.
How Should You Clean and Maintain Your Retainer?
Your retainer must be cleaned daily to avoid bacteria buildup that could result in an infection. Cleaning is easy and involves brushing your retainer with your toothbrush like you would with your teeth. You should also soak the retainer in mouthwash if you have a removable retainer.
Can You Get a Retainer Without Having Braces?
Some people are required to wear a retainer even if they have not had braces. Two main reasons a dentist may recommend a retainer are to correct an overbite and to align the jaw.
Can Retainers Help With Speech Impediments?
Many people also wear retainers to improve their speech. The retainers act to adjust the way the tongue is positioned in the mouth and can help to form the correct sounds for speech.
What Are Other Benefits of Retainers?
While retainers help straighten your teeth and jaw, these devices can also help correct the way you bite and chew your food. By being able to chew better, it increases saliva production, which promotes digestive enzymes that will help remove plaque and decrease cavities.
Can a Retainer Help with Breathing or Snoring Issues?
Retainers are not just for oral care. There are also special types of retainers that help people with any snoring and breathing issues. You can ask your dentist more about these devices.
Using a retainer is extremely helpful at retaining the proper alignment of both your teeth and jawline after your braces have been removed. To find out more about retainers, talk to us at Teal Umbrella today.