Straightening your teeth takes an investment in time and money. The last thing you want them to do is slowly migrate back to their original position. Retainers keep that from happening. They are custom made from plastic to fit your teeth and keep them from moving out of position. In most cases, retainers are worn overnight, although you may be encouraged to keep them in longer.
Wearing retainers are the last step in getting your teeth straightened with orthodontics. It is also an important step in maintaining the new position. Now that your teeth have been moved from their original position to a new destination, they need to settle in and get anchored in the jawbone. This takes time. The soft tissues around the teeth also need time to adjust.
Establishing the Habit of Wearing Retainers
Wearing the retainers correctly helps keep the teeth in the proper alignment. It takes time to get in the habit of wearing retainers, but it is a habit well worth developing. Many orthodontists report that nearly a quarter of their patients need to wear braces again because they did not use their retainers. Over time these patients experienced their teeth shifting back to their original position.
Teeth move throughout your lifetime. This is part of the aging process. Wearing a retainer provides your teeth an opportunity to stay in one place. It also gives you the best chance of ensuring that your investment in time and money to straighten them pays off.
Perhaps the most challenging part of having retainers is keeping track of them when eating away from home. Kids, in particular, may have a difficult time remembering not to wrap the retainer in a napkin. More retainers are lost to the trash in this way. Keeping your retainers in a case while eating is one way to prevent them from being accidentally thrown away.
You can expect to wear your retainers for about a year. The dentist will monitor the stability of your teeth and advise you about the amount of time you should keep them in.
Contact Blue Sky Dental Group today to schedule a consultation regarding retainers.