If you have been using a retainer for a period of time or you know someone who has used a retainer, you know that many people complain about needing a retainer. They say wearing a retainer is tedious and time-consuming. However, wearing a retainer is far more important than you realize. Here is some information about why wearing a retainer is so important for your dental health.
What Is a Retainer?
Retainers are a combination of metal and acrylic. They are very lightweight and strong. Many dentists use retainers to make sure your teeth stay in their correct places after their patients finish wearing braces. Sometimes, retainers can be used to make minor corrections in tooth placement or spacing.
Why Do I Have to Keep Wearing a Retainer?
You may not know this when you decide to get braces, but you will need to wear a retainer nightly for the rest of your life. That’s because, over time, your teeth drift. In fact, all of our teeth move and shift positions throughout our lives. While teeth only shift a minuscule amount, over time, your teeth might shift back into their original positions they were in before you began wearing braces.
If you spent some time and money wearing braces, the last thing you want to do is undo all of that great dental work. It is much easier to slip in a retainer when you go to sleep at night than it would be to wear braces again.
Caring for Your Retainer
If it has been a while since you got your retainer, you may have forgotten how to care for your retainer. Be sure to brush your retainer in the morning, but do not use toothpaste because that can cause abrasions on your retainer. Let your retainer air dry before putting it away. If your retainer cracks, you’ll want to get it replaced. Be sure to take your retainer out if you are going to eat a snack. If you wear your retainer faithfully, and you care for your retainer, you will be rewarded with a great smile and a healthy jawline.