Many people know and understand what it is like to wear braces from personal experience. You may, for example, have worn braces to straighten your teeth growing up as a child, or perhaps even still wear them today. What is comparatively less well known about though are retainers, which are often worn after braces have been removed and teeth originally straightened. This is unfortunate, as retainers are an important part of the treatment process for having straighter teeth. Therefore, this article will aim to spread more information about retainers and why it is important to wear them.
What are retainers?
Essentially, retainers are custom made appliances that are worn over the teeth. A dentist may ask or suggest that you wear one shortly after finishing a teeth straightening treatment such as braces. The reason for this is that retainers help to reduce the risk of a relapse, i.e. they reduce the risk of the teeth shifting back to their original positions. Retainers can also be helpful for a few other, minor ailments and issues with your teeth as well. There are a few different types of retainers, for example, some retainers are removable, so they can easily be taken off for activities such as chewing, eating, and for when you need to clean them. Essix retainers are a popular type of removable retainer, as they have no wires and are easy to wear as they fit comfortably over the front of the teeth.
Other retainers work by being bonded into place. Often this bonding can be done on the inside of the teeth, so that they are not noticeable to anyone else. Depending on the level of risk of a relapse you may be recommended to wear more than one type of retainer to help reduce this risk. Most types of retainers are designed to be worn most if not all of the time, and for those who are wearing them it will usually be recommended to wear them all the time, at least for the first three months after having braces removed. After this point, a retainer will not normally need to be worn during the day, however during the night it will still be advisable to wear them as you sleep. This will likely be the case for the rest of your life.
Why is it important to wear them?
Even though braces shift teeth into new positions within the mouth, they most probably won’t be settled into their new positions by the time the braces treatment has finished. Bone, gums and facial muscles all need time to adapt, so that they can keep the teeth in their new positions. Teeth can sometimes shift back into the positions they used to be in before having braces, and this can happen even years after having worn braces. This is all the more common for adults if they have not been frequently wearing a retainer.
For these reasons, it is important to wear a retainer after finishing wearing braces. By contacting your dentist in Navan, you will be able to potentially receive the types of retainer that were discussed above. Furthermore, your dentist in Navan is part of the Irish NHS, and accepts patients who hold medical cards.