Get Your Retainers When You See These Signs
A retainer is a customized plastic or metal dental appliance that you wear if you want to have a good set of teeth. Compared to braces, an orthodontic retainer is worn after your dentist has removed your braces and tells you that you may switch to retainers. Thus, the retainer will simply have to maintain corrections set by the braces.
When to Wear a Retainer
Aside from the reason that you have worn braces previously, there are other reasons or signs that you need to wear an orthodontic retainer. Better find a dentist who supplies this from a trustworthy dental laboratory, though. You wouldn’t want to pay more than expected.
As you age, your teeth still have the tendency to move or shift positions. This is why one day, you’ll see a gap between your teeth. There are times when it seems that your teeth are overcrowded. Nevertheless, if your teeth are almost jamming side-by-side or if there is a noticeable gap between your teeth (as long as the gap is not too wide as if a tooth is missing), then you need a retainer.
Having overcrowded teeth isn’t the only reason why you should wear retainers. If you are suffering from a condition called “tongue thrust,” or when your tongue goes through or between your teeth as you speak, retainers will block the tongue from thrusting. Your tongue will instead hit the roof of your mouth.
Another reason is the so-called temporomandibular disorder. The TMD results from grinding your teeth, or your inability to bite properly. As most retainers are made of metal and plastic, they can keep your mouth closed while you sleep, so you won’t grind your teeth unconsciously.
How Long Should You Wear a Retainer
As your dental problems may be different from others, you might need to wear a retainer for only a few months. Others have to wear it for a year or even twice as long.
What About Wisdom Teeth?
If you want your third and fourth molars removed, it’s advisable to wear retainers to prevent nearby teeth from shifting positions. Wear the retainers as directed by your dentist. Have them removed only when the positioning of the teeth has been corrected or after the surgical removal of your wisdom teeth.
There are many signs telling you that it’s time to wear retainers. Be sure to take note of them.