Retaining your smile: why you want to wear your retainer

Retaining your smile: Why you want to wear your retainer

It takes one to two years for braces to straighten your teeth. So why would you not wear your retainer to maintain results?

This three part series moves on from the embracing change series of blogs, and will look at why wearing a retainer is important to maintain the health of your teeth. The first post will start with getting braces through to what happens if you neglect to wear your retainer.

Having orthodontic work as a child

Let’s be honest, no one likes the idea of wearing braces. People enjoy the end result—who doesn’t want straighter, healthier teeth? Most adults even have the desire to get teeth whitening treatment to emphasise the results.

So, it’s weird when we see adult patients come in because of relapse. Has it really been that long since they’ve had braces? Relapse is easy to prevent: wear your retainer as advised by your orthodontist. Usually this involves having either a fixed retainer at the back of your teeth (known as the lingual side), or a retainer you wear while you sleep.

Best age for orthodontic treatment

The most common age of treatment is early to late teens. If orthodontic work is required, the team at Orthosmile Orthodontics recommend the earlier the better.

By having orthodontic treatment at an early age, treatment time can be quicker as the jawbone is still developing. How crooked the teeth are, will determine a number of factors such as treatment time and best type of braces to use.

You’ve had orthodontic work: your braces are off and your orthodontist has reiterated the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. One of our orthodontists will then explain the importance of wearing your retainer, how to look after it, and what happens should it break.

Do you know why straight teeth are better for your health?

It’s simple. Straight teeth are easier to clean, and being easier to clean means less chance of dental decay. Also, it’s better for your bite: which means it’s better for your jaw: which means there’s less chance of a knock-on effect such as TMD.

Why wearing a retainer is better than relapse

It’s the difference between wearing a retainer while you sleep or further orthodontic treatment. Mind you, you would have to not wear your retainer for some time for relapse to occur. If you had braces as a child, braces as an adult will be longer.

As a child your jaw is malleable, so treatment is easier: as an adult your jaw is set and so treatment can take longer.

At Orthosmile Orthodontics we treat patients from an early age to patients in their sixties. We offer a range of orthodontic solutions from traditional metal braces to Invisalign.

Wearing a retainer at night, every night can help to ensure your teeth do not relapse and you maintain a healthy smile.

Thank you for reading the first retaining your smile blog. In the next blog we will discuss—in greater detail—retainer wear and care.

To find out more about how Orthosmile Orthodontics in Brisbane can help you, or to book an appointment, please contact us.

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