Retainers are an essential tool in orthodontics, used to maintain the position of teeth after braces are removed. Despite their importance, many patients choose not to wear retainers as directed by their orthodontist or stop wearing them altogether once they see improvement.
So what happens if you don’t wear your retainers? Is it really that important? Let’s explore the tooth truth behind retainer use and non-use.
What Are Retainers?
Before discussing the consequences of not wearing a retainer, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they work. A retainer is a custom-made appliance designed to hold teeth in place after braces have been removed.
Retainers can be removable or fixed and come in various materials such as acrylic, thermoplastic, and metal wires. They provide gentle pressure on teeth to keep them aligned throughout the post-treatment period.
It typically takes up to two years for new bone growth to stabilize around teeth following orthodontic treatment; during that time, a patient wears retainers as instructed by their orthodontist.
Consequences of Not Wearing Retainers
The long-term success of initial treatment depends on consistent retainer use. Failure to comply with retention instructions may lead to several dental issues:
When you don’t use your retainers, there is no counteractive pressure placed on shifting teeth. Over time this allows newly formed bone surrounding each tooth being forceful enough before new bones set in will shift teeth back out of alignment.
Without regular use of a retainer following orthodontic treatment it affects bite placement: It’s common for top front ones wanting presenting too much over bottom lower front causing biting issues which keeps throwing off temporomandibular joint leading tmj disorder symptoms including jaw clenching, headaches and head pain.
Difficulty Eating and Speaking
Teeth moving around can also cause issues with one’s ability to chew food or of course speak; there is nothing funny about spitting when trying to sound out words that involve the “s” noise . So you don’t want to let retainer neglect lead adding life stressors.
Bottom line if you spent years undergoing orthodontic treatment because you cared how your teeth looked like but once gotten healed from that there areas is not taken care of either become too overcrowded, too spacedoout again.
Neglect for the extended suggested time it needs will result slowly towards teeth shifting back into their previously undesirable position which has ramifications on looks as well including smile appearance alongside mental health. It’s vain but true: People who look good feel better confidence-wise about themselves.
How Often Should I Wear My Retainer?
The frequency of retainer use following orthodontic treatment varies depending on an individual’s deviation level in prior treatment.
After orthodontic treatment, a patient may be instructed by their orthodontist to wear their removable retainers full-time for six months before switching to nighttime wear only. As part of any after-care plan specific instructions for usage should be provided for maximum benefit.
Typically, patients are advised by their orthodontists to replace retainers every two years or so. During this same time period a revisitating omce yearly would handle any potential developing issues requiring securing regular maintenance schedules.
What If I Haven’t Worn My Retainers in Months or Years?
No need being scared yet if the amount of time has been substantial where at-home usage isn’t enough then schedule an appointment ASAP with your dentist/orthodontist.
It takes some adjustment period when getting back into wearing them but right away it curbs bone loss development alongside slowing down progression in teeth shifting.
That being the case; another set of retainers may be crafted for effectiveness and of course minimal fuss. Do not skip over any future orthodontic visits throughout your life as it definitely pays off far more than just having nice straight teeth.
Q: Can I Wear My Retainers Only at Night?
A: It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist specifically after-treatment care plan. In most cases initially, full-time wear is encouraged for a specified period after which usage is then revised towards nighttime only use with periodical check-ups.
Q: How Long Should I Use My Retainer After Braces Removal?
A: Again, length differs according to factors like deviation level and patient old age along with various other contributing elements. But certainly keeping up mandatory timeframes which are suggested will always provide maximum benefits all-round.
Q: How Often Do I Need to Replace My Retainers?
A:”Typically every two years or so – but this once again might vary quite a bit from device
to device. Your dental professional will suggest when more regularly due to either
minuscule breakage marks or corroding parts. “
Retaining healthy clear aligning smiles can’t simply fade after the completion of carrying braces – nor any subsequent careless abandonment by patients lacking basic regard following their designated retainer treatment plan.
The cost first off sucks and also devoted amount right away needs holdup towards regular retention regimen if one doesn’t want negative effects leading into potentially new concerns in terms of oral health affecting communication abilities & even existent self-esteem levels beyond realism based on personal appearance style motives alone.
Just remember that success achieved during orthodontic treatment post-removal relies heavily upon consistent retainer use whilst building stronger habits around maintaining better overall dental hygiene practices for a lifetime full set of wonderful pearly bits others envy.