Retainers are orthodontic devices that maintain the position of your teeth after braces have been removed. They are typically made of plastic or wire; the Greenwich Dentistry team can customize them to fit your teeth. Greenwich retainers apply gentle pressure to crooked teeth to prevent them from returning to their original positions. You need to wear them for some time following the removal of braces, usually at night, but in some cases, your doctor may recommend wearing them during the day as well.
The procedure for fitting retainers
Your provider will first evaluate the current position of your teeth and create an impression of your teeth using a mold. They will then use the mold to develop custom-made retainers that fit your teeth perfectly. Your doctor will then show you how to properly insert and remove your retainers and give instructions on how often you should wear them. When fitting your retainers, the team may need to make some adjustments to ensure that they fit comfortably and securely. They may use a special tool to adjust the shape and size of the retainers, or they may use a small torch to heat and reshape them.
What to expect if you don’t wear your retainers
Wearing a retainer is an essential aspect of orthodontic treatment; failing to wear it as prescribed can result in several undesirable consequences. When you first get your braces off, your teeth are in their new positions, but the supporting bone and ligaments around your teeth are not fully settled. A retainer holds the teeth in place, allowing the bone and ligaments to adapt to the new position of your teeth. If you don’t wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth can shift back to their original position, undoing all the progress made during the treatment. The time it takes for your teeth to shift back varies from person to person. Some people may notice their teeth shifting in weeks, while others may take months or even years for the teeth to move back to their original position fully. Failing to wear your retainer can also cause discomfort, pain, and difficulty speaking or eating.
Retainer cleaning tips
Keeping your retainer in good condition is important to ensure that it continues to work effectively in maintaining the alignment of your teeth. Firstly, you must consistently wear your retainer, which means wearing it every night or as directed by your orthodontist. Handling your retainer carefully while putting it on and taking it off to prevent any damage is essential. After removing the retainer, store it safely in its protective case to prevent it from getting lost or damaged. Make sure to clean your retainer daily with a gentle cleanser and a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent bacteria buildup.
Keep your retainer away from hot temperatures, such as direct sunlight or hot water, as this can warp the retainer and render it ineffective. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, such as toothpaste or mouthwash, which can scratch the surface of the retainer and harbor bacteria. If your retainer break, contact your orthodontist immediately to schedule an appointment for repair or replacement.
If you want to know more about maintaining your retainers, call the Greenwich Dentistry office or schedule your appointment online.