After having braces removed, a person is fitted for a device called a retainer. This device is a specially molded mouthpiece that is designed to be worn at night, and often during the day, to make sure the teeth that have undergone straightening do not shift back into their past position.
This is even more important for younger children because their mouth grows as they do and teeth becoming crooked again can happen easily. Preserving expensive dental work isn’t the only reason your dentist might request you to wear a retainer.
In a few cases, a small gap or only a slight crookedness of a tooth or two may not require the use of braces. In these cases, the dentist will design a retainer that can help gently ease the tooth or teeth back into their proper position over time. The defect may be too slight to require braces, but any abnormalities of the teeth can make chewing difficult, resulting in digestion problems.
Wearing a retainer requires getting used to speaking with something foreign in your mouth. You have to learn to speak slowly in order to properly form words. This makes a retainer useful for helping both children and adults who have problems with their speech. Being forced to speak slower and concentrate helps improve their speech.
Retainers can’t help with many causes of snoring but there are some that are caused by a misalignment of the jaw. In these cases, a retainer may help position the jaw properly to open up the airway and make breathing easier, and snoring less.
Proper Care for Dental Retainers
Whatever reason requires you to wear a retainer, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions about proper care. Remember that your mouth is full of bacteria and your retainer must be cleaned regularly. It is also important to keep it from becoming bent or twisted as it was made to fit your mouth perfectly. Even though they may look alike, no two retainers are exactly the same.
For a complete evaluation of your teeth and whether or not you could benefit from the use of a retainer, contact us for an appointment. Our trained staff will evaluate your situation and proceed with the best course of action to get you the greatest smile possible.