Why Wear a Retainer?
One of the most over-looked aspects of orthodontic care is a retainer. While braces can straighten your child’s teeth, a retainer ensures they stay that way. In some cases, they can also ease breathing problems and speech impediments.
Drs. David Spokane and Melissa Karski in Beaver Falls, PA, provide comprehensive orthodontic care for teens and adults, including dental retainers to help you or your child achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
Why Do You Need a Retainer?
The main function of a retainer is to keep the teeth straight after braces are removed. A retainer ensures all the effort put into improving you or your child’s smile does not go to waste. Once your braces or orthodontic tray have been removed, it does not take long for the teeth to shift back into their old positions. A dental retainer can prevent this issue and protect your investment for many years to come.
After orthodontic treatment is complete, your doctor will create a custom retainer and provide instructions for when and for how long it should be worn. You will typically need to wear your retainer at night for anywhere from three months to a year.
Benefits of Wearing a Retainer
While many patients may find it a pain to remember to wear their retainers, it is in your best interest to remain diligent. These orthodontic appliances can:
- Reduce Risk of Oral Health Problems: When your teeth are straight, it is not only easier to chew effectively but to clean your smile, as well. Consequently, maintaining your orthodontic results can minimize the danger of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Ease breathing difficulties: If your child has some sort of breathing difficulty, a retainer can often help. Certain types of retainers can realign the teeth or jaw to lessen breathing issues and chronic snoring problems at night.
- Alleviate speech impediments: If your child has difficulty saying certain words, a retainer can sometimes help them form sounds correctly. Some children have a speech impediment called tongue thrust, a phenomenon in which the tongue sneaks through the teeth when they talk. A specialized type of retainer called a crib or tongue cage can prevent this and guide your child's mouth int pronunciation.
- Correct space issues: Retainers are not always worn in conjunction with braces. In some instances, retainers can effectively move a single tooth or close a gap in the smile without the need for more in-depth treatment.
Retainers are just one part of the specialized care we provide for patients with complex dental cases...
Proper Care of Retainers
Our mouths are home to bacteria, plaque, and leftover food particles, all of which can accumulate on a retainer. Consequently, attentive hygiene is essential. Some of the basics include:
- Retainers should be cleaned every day with the recommended cleaning solutions.
- Always soak a retainer when not wearing it, as the plastic can dry out and crack.
- Avoid cleaning retainers with hot water, as that can warp the plastic.
- Do not bend the wires or flip your retainer around in your mouth.
Make Sure Your Smile Stays Straight
Retainers are just one part of the specialized care we provide for patients with complex dental cases, including crooked teeth, buck teeth and skeletal problems that affect the jawbone. Contact us today online to schedule a free consultation.