Why You Have to Wear Your Retainer | Drs Savage, Sabol & Visser
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Why You Have to Wear Your Retainer

Retainers in Virginia Beach, VAAfter getting braces off, it’s very common for kids and adults alike to be fitted for a custom retainer. This device holds the teeth in place and prevents them from shifting back into their previous position. You’ve put a lot of hard work and dedication into getting your teeth straight, and you wouldn’t want to have them revert back to their crooked ways.

Retainers are usually worn at night, although some people have to wear them for a few hours during the day as well – at least at first. This shifting occurs as your body continues to grow, particularly in kids. Once you’ve put in your time with braces and then get them off, your orthodontist will schedule an appointment for an impression of your teeth. That mold is sent to the lab, where technicians can craft a custom set of retainers, made of a special kind of plastic.

Because it takes some time for the bone and tissues in your gums to reorganize, you’ll need to wear your retainer until your bite is stabilized. That first month or so after getting your braces off is the most critical, as this represents the highest chances for relapse. It can take up to a year or longer for your teeth to stabilize after braces. Add more time if you had gaps in your teeth prior to treatment. Failure to wear your retainer as directed can cause the teeth to go back to their previous position, and you will likely need another round of braces.

Your retainer is specifically made for you, so it’s important to wear it as directed and keep it in its case when not in use. You’ll have to go for occasional retainer checks to ensure your teeth are staying in place and no adjustments are needed. You may have to wear your retainer for many years or indefinitely to prevent shifting over your lifetime. Plan on wearing your retainers for at least the amount of time you had braces, and sometimes longer. This will vary by patient.

In addition to keeping teeth from shifting, retainers also help with the following:

  • Close up spaces and gaps in teeth.
  • Treat a medical problem such as tongue thrust, where the tongue hits your teeth when talking.
  • Treat temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which results from a bite problem where the teeth don’t meet together properly when the jaws are closed, says KidsHealth. This is known as a malocclusion or bruxism, which is a grinding of the teeth during sleep.

To learn more about the importance of retainers after braces, call Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser at 757-428-1110 – the trusted names in orthodontia.

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