As an In-Line dentist in Bournemouth one of the questions we’re often asked is why is there a need to wear a retainer once treatment is finished. Basically, the reason is to keep the teeth in their new position. Braces work by gradually easing teeth into a healthier position and a retainer needs to be worn while the bone and tissue settles down around your teeth, and the bite stabilises.
For how long do retainers need to be worn?
The risk of relapse is highest during the first month after treatment has ended and as your body is constantly changing so too can your teeth shift position. Relapse won’t occur over night, but if you stop wearing your retainer your teeth will eventually revert back to their original position. By wearing your retainer as suggested, you can help keep your teeth straighter for longer.
What do retainers look like?
Retainers are custom made to prevent your teeth from moving back to their old position and take the form of a fixed or a removable appliance.
Acrylic and wire or clear plastic fits against the front of the teeth to hold a removable retainer in place. Typically the clear plastic version looks nicer but wears out faster. This form of retainer is usually worn full time for about 6 months after which time it’s worn during the night for several years. A fixed retainer is held in place by wire bonded to the back of the front teeth. This is usually kept in place for around 5 years although it’s not uncommon for an In-Line dentist in Bournemouth to recommend that it’s worn for a lifetime.
Removable retainers need to be taken out for eating and when playing contact sports as well as for brushing your teeth. To clean the retainer brush it using toothpaste and rinse it with tap water and then brush and floss your teeth. If you have a fixed retainer then you’ll need to take more care when brushing the back of your teeth and around the wire so that plaque doesn’t form. Ask your dentist in Bournemouth to show you how to floss using a floss threader.
How does a retainer feel?
Like any appliance worn in the mouth, it will seem a little awkward at first and will take a few days to get used to it and to speak clearly. Don’t worry if you experience more saliva in your mouth than usual, that’s totally normal. Fixed retainers don’t affect speech but do be careful when biting down on particularly hard or crunchy food.
Many people find their teeth shift position at some stage of their lives and this is why realigning them with a speedy treatment like In-Line is such a good solution for orthodontics. In Bournemouth we have helped restore the smiles of lots of patients who didn’t want to wear a traditional metal brace. We encourage them to wear a removable retainer for longer at night, and a fixed retainer indefinitely, so that they can continue to enjoy their new smile. If you’re in need of orthodontics in Bournemouth or if you have an dental emergency, then why not get in touch with Queens Park Dental by calling us on 01202 303322 or get in touch via our website at www.queensparkdental.co.uk. We’ll soon have the smile back on your face.