Retaining your smile: wear a retainer for straight teeth
Part two of our retaining your smile article
At Orthosmile Orthodontics Brisbane we don’t just do braces. We also help patients keep their teeth straight after braces. As we’ve already mentioned in shift happens: when you wear your retainer, embracing change and maintaining it and retaining your smile: why you want to wear your retainer. Wearing your retainer prevents relapse.
That’s really what we want to stress. Avoiding relapse means you avoid needing treatment a second time. You’ve had braces once: do you really want to wear them a second time?
Orthodontic treatment puts your teeth straight: a retainer keeps them that way
You’ve had braces, either traditional, lingual or aligners. Your teeth are straight, healthy-looking and your oral health is in a good place. Then your orthodontist hands you your retainer and explains what you’ve got to do: wear it every night for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight.
Your dog might not eat your homework but she will eat your retainer
If you’ve ever had a sports mouthguard, then you will have a fair idea of how to look after your retainer. If you haven’t then it’s fairly simple. Firstly, always put it away in its protective case each morning. Keep it out of reach of small children and pets. Especially, pets and definitely dogs. It’s strange but dogs seem to have a predilection for retainers.
When you visit your dentist for your six monthly check-ups we’d advise you take your retainer with you. This allows your dentist to check the health of the retainer and if necessary organise for you to get a new one.
If your retainer breaks or goes missing let your dentist know so they can provide you with a new one. This will help you to keep your teeth straight longer.
How often should you wear a retainer?
Every article we’ve written on retainer wear says the same thing: every night. Every night until you don’t want to have straight teeth any more. We aren’t saying that if you miss one night your teeth will automatically become crooked. What we are saying is that after a sustained period of time of not wearing your retainer you will suffer relapse.
There is no “you might suffer relapse.” It is one of the few certainties in dentistry. And getting orthodontics as an adult while not as awkward as it once was; is not as easy as when you were a teenager. Which is because when you’re a teenager your jaw is more malleable and so teeth can shift more easily.
In the third and final part of the retaining your smile blog we will look at post-braces care, types of retainers and what to do if relapse does occur.
If you would like to know more, or to book an appointment at Orthosmile Orthodontics in one of our convenient locations across Brisbane, contact us today.