You finally got your braces off! Your teeth are finally straight and all you want to do it show off your beautiful smile. But then the orthodontist informs you that your work is not done. You have to wear a retainer, all day, every day for at least the next few months and maybe up to a year! Are you serious? Is wearing a retainer really necessary?
When Wearing a Retainer Is Really Necessary
When you wear braces, they slowly move your teeth into new positions. This movement loosens the gums, ligaments, and bones that hold your teeth into place. While the body’s ability to allow and adjust to this movement makes braces possible, it also makes movement after braces possible. It takes time for new bones to develop and ligaments to adjust to their new position. This is where a retainer is essential. The retainer holds your teeth in their new position while the gums, ligaments, and bones strengthen enough to maintain their position.
Think of a retainer as an insurance policy for your teeth. You invested lots of time and money in your orthodontic work and a retainer will help ensure you keep your smile.
After your braces are removed, your orthodontist will likely tell you to wear your retainer for at least 20 hours a day, only removing it for eating. If you don’t wear a retainer as advised at this time, it is very likely that your teeth will shift, and you may even need to wear braces again.
Eventually, your orthodontist will tell you that you can reduce your retainer wear, often only needing to wear it at night. While this may not seem necessary, your teeth still have the potential to shift, if ever so slightly. Wearing your retainer at night helps then retain their new position. This practice also lets you know if your teeth start to shift.
If you forget to wear your retainer for a few nights and then notice it feels tight, places pressure on a tooth, or doesn’t fit at all, chances are your teeth have moved. In many cases, wearing it full-time again is often enough to stabilize the teeth, but you may need to see your orthodontist to check for more significant movement.
Wearing a retainer at night, throughout your life, will help ensure that your teeth stay in place and that you keep the smile you worked so hard to achieve. Visit SportingSmiles today to learn how you can get a high-quality Essix retainer at a fraction of the cost.
Battling the Effects of Aging on Your Smile
When you think about getting older, wrinkles and grey hair probably come to mind. But did you know teeth shifting is also a common sign of aging? As you age, your teeth naturally migrate towards the front of your mouth. The ligaments, muscles, bone, and tissue that keep your teeth in place begins to weaken, allowing them to slowly move. In addition, tooth loss and periodontal disease can also contribute to shifting. This can contribute to overcrowding and overlapping of teeth, especially in the front.
The good news is that your retainer can help. Wearing your retainer every night, or at least a few nights a week for the rest of your life can help reduce this natural shift and keep your teeth in position.
Lifetime Wear Will Require Replacement Retainers
While retainers are tough and made to last, nothing lasts forever. It’s important to note that with proper care, most retainers will last for 2 years before you need a replacement. Throughout your life, you will need to replace your retainer at least every couple of years. While this can get expensive through an orthodontist, SportingSmiles has you covered. Our retainers are the same high-quality you receive from your orthodontist, but because you use our patented self-impression kit to make your mold, we are able to offer these retainers at a fraction of the cost. To learn more, visit Orthodontic Retainers today.