Why are teeth retainers important in teeth straightening treatment?
If you are or will be getting any orthodontic treatment like clear aligners to fix your crowded teeth or misaligned teeth, you would probably know about teeth retainers too. If you don’t, we are here to tell you everything you need to know about these lesser-heard dental appliances called teeth retainers used after the teeth straightening procedure done by braces or clear aligners.
What are dental retainers?
If you go by its etymology, ‘retainer’ comes from the word ‘retain’ which means to keep or continue to have something. Teeth retainers do exactly that! Whether you use braces or clear aligners, after finishing your treatment process, teeth retainers take over. They keep your teeth from reverting to their original position. Directly after finishing treatment, your orthodontist will likely prescribe a dental retainer to ensure that the teeth retain their new positions till the mouth can adapt to the changes.
This is because, as you age, your hormone and bone levels keep changing, moving the position of your teeth throughout life. Whether you’re suffering from an overbite or crowding of the teeth, your teeth can still shift back to their original position. The reason that your teeth shift after having been straightened is that the bone hasn’t fully hardened into its new position. The retainer keeps your straightened teeth in place as the bone hardens, which saves you the trouble of having to get your teeth straightened again in the future. In essence, it helps you keep your smile long after you finish your teeth-straightening treatment.
How are retainers used in clear aligner treatment for teeth straightening?
When you go for a clear aligner treatment, the entire treatment plan is mapped out from the beginning which includes teeth retainers as well. Just as clear aligners, teeth retainers are also invisible custom devices designed to hold your teeth in place. But while clear aligners help in teeth straightening, teeth retainers are used to prevent teeth from moving out of position.
Many different factors will affect the exact amount of time you’ll need to wear a retainer. In the first 3 to 6 months after your clear aligners are removed, your orthodontist will recommend you wear it at all times, except when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. After that, it might be recommended to just wear them overnight. If you do not wear your teeth retainers for a while, there might be a chance of relapse of treatment and they no longer fit properly as your teeth have shifted from their position. That is why it is important to follow the instructions and guidelines set by your Orthodontist.
What are the benefits of teeth retainers?
Teeth retainers play a crucial role in keeping the teeth in place after Clear Aligners have done their job. However, they have many other benefits as well, including:
- They help in controlling and preventing the grinding of teeth while sleeping.
- If you have bite issues, crowding, or gaps in your teeth, teeth retainers help in maintaining and preventing the development of these issues after receiving orthodontic treatment for the same.
- Teeth retainers also help to maintain space for new unerupted permanent teeth for preteens and teenagers.
- It also helps you maintain proper oral hygiene as straighter teeth are easier to clean.
Tips to take care of teeth retainers
Proper care of your teeth retainers is critical in the continuation of your teeth straightening treatment without any hiccups. Here is how you can take care of them:
- Take your teeth retainers out only while eating or drinking anything except water, and always put them in a safe place while not in use.
- When you aren’t wearing them, rinse with water and keep them safe in a retainer case or box.
- There are no food restrictions as they can be removed. Still, teeth retainers require regular brushing. However, do not use toothpaste. Instead, go for a denture cleaner. Brushing will help remove the tartar buildup and make sure you maintain your oral health.
- Do not use warm water, always wash it with lukewarm or normal running tap water.
- Cleansing Foams such as one provided/ available with Flash Orthodontics (Flash Foam) can be an effective solution to keep retainers clean and hygienic.
Teeth retainers are extremely important in the clear aligner treatment since they help in maintaining your teeth in place for your everlasting dental health and confident smiles. Be sure to follow the instructions of your Orthodontist properly to get the best results out of your teeth straightening investment!
Flash Orthodontics provided best-in-class clear aligner treatment. With award-winning TRIOS intraoral scanning technology and products proudly engineered in India, Flash Orthodontics aims to provide advanced and comprehensive treatment. To know more about clear aligner teeth straightening treatment, consult a Flash Orthodontist near you.
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