Many of us have probably lost our retainers and have dragged out feet to get a new one. It can be annoying, having to sleep with a retainer in your mouth or wear it at different points in the day. But the truth is retainers are important for anyone hoping to achieve straighter teeth and a well balanced smile without all the invasive work of braces. Retainers provide this to patients of all ages, tackling overcrowded teeth, crooked teeth, and even teeth whose positioning makes them a risk for infection.
But abstractly knowing a retainer is helpful isn’t always going to convince you to keep up with wearing it or getting a new one when your retainer goes missing. But there are some specific and tangible benefits to retainers that may convince you to be a bit more dedicated when it comes to maintaining retainer use.
They keep your teeth from shifting
When you wear braces, the constant pressure on your teeth shifts them into the ideal space but when the braces are removed teeth have a tendency to shift back into place. That’s where a retainer comes in, encouraging continued pressure to maintain the positioning of teeth. By not wearing the retainer, you risk your teeth shifting back to their original position which your braces worked so hard to fix.
It helps with oral hygiene
Teeth that are straighter are easier to clean. Crooked teeth can cause grooves and crevices in which bacteria and food residue can linger. The straighter your teeth are, the easier they are to clean with brushing and the easier they are to floss. A big reason your teeth need to be straightened by braces is not cosmetic, but health related as crooked teeth can lead to infections, cavities, and chronic issues.
It assists breathing and speech
Your teeth and their positioning has an effect on a lot of aspects of your day-to-day, including breathing and speech. You may not notice it until it’s pointed out to you but you may find you have struggles breathing or pronouncing words prior to getting your teeth straightened. Your retainer can help you maintain the positioning that helped with breathing and speech and can have long term positive effects on your breathing.
It can be tough to remember to wear your retainer and it can be even tougher if you’re an adult trying to remind a self conscious child to wear their retainer. It’s good to leave notes, develop a habit, or even reward yourself when you remember to wear your retainer or your child when they remember to wear their retainer. The health benefits are plenty and you will thank yourself in the long run for remembering to wear your retainer and maintain the health benefits you worked so hard for. Get into contact with us to get started on your orthodontics plan.