What is a retainer and how do I use it?

Retainers after orthodontic treatment

Have you ever wondered what comes next after you take the braces off your teeth?

It is time for the “retainer after braces” phase.

While the braces strengthen your teeth and help you have a beautiful smile, the retainer enables you to maintain it. Apart from keeping the teeth straight, the dental retainer has many other benefits, especially for children. When they wear it correctly, the retainer corrects and improves speech problems and prevents other emerging orthodontic issues in the future.

Moreover, after you spent serious money on orthodontic treatments, the retainer will help you keep the spectacular results you obtained. So, it prevents your money from going down the drain and the appearance of any flaw in your treatment. If you want to know more about the dental retainer purpose and how to retain a beautiful smile for the rest of your life, then you should keep reading this article until the end.

What’s a retainer?

If you think of the word’s etymology, retainer comes from the action “to retain”.

Getting even more rooted into the noun’s meaning, if we think of the verb “retain”, then we get to the idea of continuing to have something or keep possession of something. So, even though you are not a dentist, you can define a retainer as the appliance which helps you keep your teeth straight.

It represents the final phase in orthodontic treatment. Its role is to prevent teeth from coming back to their initial position after the braces removal. Thus, patients have to wear them as much as possible to avoid the reappearance of orthodontic problems.

What are retainer’s benefits?

When you have straighter teeth, you can clean them easier. Therefore, you will have fewer bacteria in your mouth and manage to keep good oral health.

But, apart from this significant benefit, there is much more worth to be taken into

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consideration. For example, a child with straight teeth and a correct bite will chew their food more effectively. So, they will have fewer digestive problems and get more nutrients from the food they receives.

Plus, when you chew your food correctly, you will increase the amount of saliva produced in your mouth. The direct consequence is that more saliva produces digestive enzymes. An increased number of enzymes reduce the plaque appearance and lower the risk of cavities.

Even though not everyone knows, retainers reduce breathing problems. This appliance does not only straighten teeth, but it also aligns jaws. Thus, patients will snore less or have fewer breathing difficulties after wearing it at night. By adjusting the kids’ tongue placement, they help the little ones speak clearly by allowing them to form the sounds correctly.

How long should I wear a retainer?

There are two types of retainers: removable and fixed.

Each of them has various characteristics and a different treatment period. In the case of a removable retainer, you should wear it permanently for a couple of months. Afterward, the orthodontist will most probably recommend you to wear it only during

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the night, without any break. In case you received orthodontic treatment as a child, then you should wear a fixed retainer for at least ten years after your braces removal. People who had braces as adults should wear retainers for the rest of their lives.

How should I take care of my retainer?

If you are wearing a permanent system, then you should make sure that you clean the wire attached to your teeth using dental floss. Thus, you will reduce the chances of gum infections or cavities.

You can also clean the removable retainers with lukewarm water after each meal.

Moreover, you can use toothpaste to clean your removable retainer. The retainer brite is also a rapid and efficient method to keep them clean. All you have to do is put it in a glass with water together with the substance and let it soak for maximum 15 minutes.

Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment

When you hear about the possible length of your orthodontic treatment, you might be discouraged wearing a brace followed by a retainer.

However, you should keep in mind that you cannot obtain a perfect smile overnight.

Apart from a consistent cleaning routine, you might also need braces to straighten your teeth. Once you have finally taken all the wires off, your work doesn’t end.

A retainer helps you keep your smile radiant and confident. For kids retainers contribute to better digestion and correct speech. Moreover, a retainer will help you maintain a spectacular smile and better oral health.

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