Wearing Retainers after Dental Braces
For many patients, correcting teeth misalignment and bite issues can be a long road using orthodontic treatments, with some having to wear dental devices for as long as two years. Once desired results are obtained and patients have to no longer wear their braces in Milton Keynes, it may come as a surprise that having to wear a retainer is the next requirement.
It is not uncommon for some patients to continue with retention procedures after successfully receiving orthodontic treatment. Research suggests that about seventy per cent of patients who have had orthodontic treatments require treatment again, usually after ten years.
What was once believed – that teeth stabilise once a certain age level is reached – no longer holds as truth as it has been found that teeth remain mobile throughout life and that patients re-experience the misalignment issues after having their teeth corrected if further steps are not taken to prevent relapse.
There are a number of reasons that are believed to cause a relapse: pressure from tongue and lips may place pressure on teeth, fibres that secure teeth to the jawbone may recoil, as well as pressure produced from further growth.
The Risk of Ignoring Retention Procedures
Retainers are dental instruments that are designed to fit over teeth, offering an effective way to prevent teeth from moving out of alignment again.
Retention is a long-term commitment – a fact that The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) supports with the introduction of the
‘Hold That Smile’ campaign. The campaign encourages the wearing of removable braces at night to keep teeth in the newly aligned position.
The retainer works by holding teeth in place once the teeth-correcting device has done its job and is no longer required. Patients who neglect to wear their retainers run the risk of their teeth shifting so much so that the retainer does not fit the shape of teeth appropriately and another set is required.
What to Remember When Wearing Retainers
- Keeping dental appointments is still necessary
It is especially important for patients wearing retainers to continue attending regular check-ups with a dentist. It is also advised that on these visits that the patients have their retainers with them.
- If a retainer breaks, get a replacement as soon as possible
If a retainer needs replacing due to damage or because the old one has been lost it is important that a patient makes an appointment as soon as possible to get a new one.
It is not advisable to wait until the next check-up appointment as teeth may shift again during this time.
- Wearing retainers is a personal responsibility
The wearing of retainers ensures the continued success of orthodontic treatment. It is therefore not an option, but more of a necessity.
Dental practitioners can only advise on the important role retainers play in maintaining the hard work achieved by teeth-correcting devices, it is up to the patient to follow all instructions and to take good care of their retainers.
Need information on the most reliable treatment to straighten teeth, or more recommendations on the role of retainers after removing teeth-correcting devices? Schedule a consultation with a dental professional today.