As anyone who has worn braces will be aware, the day that your braces are taken off is a real cause for celebration; this is the first time that you get to see the results of your hard work and to enjoy straight, white, and perfect teeth.
It is important to remember, however, that your treatment does not stop because your braces have come off – you will be issued with a retainer and given instructions on how to use this.
You may be wondering what will happen if you ignore the advice of your orthodontist and neglect your retainers. – what is the worst that could happen, right?
Well, we have all of the information you need to motivate you to wear your retainers and keep your teeth looking great.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces work by applying pressure to your teeth so that they move into their correct position. The wires in braces apply a constant force to the teeth as they gradually shift them into place.
This process takes several months, but it is worth every minute of discomfort!
The best thing about braces is that they can give you straighter teeth without having to undergo painful extractions or other procedures such as veneers.
They also help prevent further damage from occurring to your teeth.
If you do not wear your retainers properly, then it is possible that your teeth will start to drift back where they were before you started wearing braces.
This means that you may need to go through the whole process again, which is both costly and inconvenient.
What Is A Retainer?
A retainer is an appliance that you wear after your braces have been removed, and these are devices designed to hold your teeth in their new positions until they become firm enough to support themselves.
There are two types of retainers: fixed and removable. Fixed retainers are bonded directly onto your teeth, while removable ones are held in place using either suction or magnets.
Fixed retainers are usually made out of acrylic plastic, metal, or composite resin.
They are designed to fit over the top of your teeth and are often used to prevent any movement of your teeth when eating or drinking.
Removable retainers are usually made of nylon or rubber and are worn at night to prevent your teeth from moving.
What Happens If I Don’t Wear My Retainer?
Not wearing your retainer can lead to a number of unwanted consequences, and these include:
Worsening Of Alignment
It is very common for people to forget to wear their retainers, especially if they are busy and don’t think about them much. This is why it is vital that you make sure that you always wear your retainers.
If you fail to do so, then your teeth will begin to shift back towards where they were prior to starting your orthodontic treatment.
This can result in crooked teeth, and even more serious problems like gaps between your teeth.
Damage To Teeth And Gums
When you do not wear your retainer, then it is likely that your teeth will rub against each other.
This rubbing action can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It can also increase the risk of periodontal (gum) disease.
In addition, not wearing your retainer can cause your gums to recede, meaning that there is less space available for food and bacteria to enter your mouth. This can lead to bad breath and cavities.
Gaps Between Teeth
You may start to get gaps in your teeth by the fact that your teeth are shifting away from one another when you do not wear your retainers.
How Can I Keep My Teeth Healthy While Wearing Braces?
The best way to keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces is to follow the advice given by your dentist. Some top tips for healthy teeth include:
Brush twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste. The most effective method of brushing your teeth is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to brush your teeth for 2 minutes at a time.
Remember To Floss
Use flossing as part of your routine dental hygiene regime. Make sure that you floss regularly, and that you remove all plaque from between your teeth.
Avoid Chewing Gum
Chewing gum can help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, but it does not replace good oral hygiene practices.
Don’t Eat Too Much Sugar
Sugar causes tooth decay, which means that it is important to avoid consuming too many sweets. Try to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Get Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular check-ups with your dentist are an essential element of maintaining good dental health.
These visits ensure that any issues with your teeth and gums are identified early on, and treated before they become worse.
Wearing your retainer is an essential element of successful orthodontic treatment, and can be seen as the final hurdle in your treatment.
While retainers, unlike braces, can be removed, it is imperative that you stick to the plan provided by your orthodontist.
Failing to wear your retainer properly could result in your teeth moving back to where they were before treatment, and this can cause long-term issues or, in the worst case scenarios, the need to repeat your orthodontic treatment.
To save yourself a lot of pain, money, and headaches, it is important to wear your retainers properly from the start – your smile will thank you in the long run!