My Friend the Retainer
If you have endured one or more years of braces. Your Orthodontist has said it’s time to have them come off and now your are elated and ready to smile big. But wait, treatment is not over. Now comes the dreaded Orthodontic retainer.
Your teeth have been straightened and for them to stay that way a retainer is necessary. It is a removable mouth device made of molded plastic and wire. The purpose of the retainer is to hold teeth in place after braces. This will help in the strengthening of teeth and also close spaces between teeth after braces are removed. Generally a retainer is worn for 20 hours per day for several months. As the teeth strengthen and become stable, retainer wear will be reduced to night wear only. Without a retainer, all your hard work the orthodontist and his staff did for you will be for naught since your teeth will move unfavorably. Another point to remember is as we grow our teeth will shift and the retainer will help control the shifting. The retainer is your friend and should stay with you.
When you first begin to wear your retainer, your speech may be slightly impaired. So talk lots especially when you are alone. Read out loud, sing, carry on a conversation with yourself; all of these will help your speech. Also you may have an increased saliva flow and the retainer may feel tight in your mouth. All these are temporary side effects generally lasting only a few days. Look at this adjustment period as getting to know a new friend.
Now that you have a retainer there are certain things that are important. One of the most important is cleanliness. Brush the retainer after each meal using a toothbrush or small hand brush and water. Soap or toothpaste can also be used. If cleaning with soap or toothpaste rinse the retainer well before inserting in your mouth. The most important point is to keep it clean.
When the retainer is not being worn, it stays in its case. Your retainer should be in your mouth or in its case at all times. That way you won’t have to remember where you put your friend.For More information about braces and wearing your retainer check out Lach Orthodontic Specialist
Have you ever noticed students digging through the cafeteria garbage cans? They were probably looking for their retainer. Never place your retainer in a napkin while eating. Doing so is the easiest way to lose it. Then you will be one of those people digging through the garbage cans; not a fun experience. Always have the retainer case with you and place the retainer in its case while eating.
Never wear your retainer during vigorous sports activities or while swimming. Also just like when wearing braces never chew on straws or pencils. And definitely no bubble gum!
In order to keep your teeth stable and the results of braces permanent, retainers should become a part of your life. Think about it as part of your attire. When you only need wear the retainer at night, think of it as part of your bedtime ritual – brush teeth and put retainer in – simple.
Health and Home
Health and your home go together take care of them both