Once you have gone through the process of Invisalign or you have finished wearing braces, you would need a retainer to keep the teeth affixed and to prevent them from shifting from their certain places. Most of the patients are still unaware of the retainers and how these retainers can help fix gaps in teeth without braces. Retainers and braces are used to fix tooth gaps because there are risks associated with tooth gaps. Tooth gaps expose section of gum and this could damage the gum simple by biting too hard. Tooth gaps are also usually known as diastema.
What’s a Retainer?
After you have ended using the braces, your doctor will surely suggest you wear the retainer for a specified time. This time may vary on the nature of your treatment and the quality of gaps between teeth. Retainers are the oral appliances that keep your teeth affixed in their definite positions once the braces have been removed. Retainers are not fixed, and they can be removed and are cleanable too. Retainers are essential to be worn after a braces treatment so that your teeth don’t shift back in their initial position.
Causes of Tooth Gaps
The tooth gap in different persons can be because of various reasons, and the nature of these tooth gaps is also different. However, not every person faces this issue, but if someone does, there could be a set of alternative reasons behind it. The causes can include wearing an unfit retainer, not wearing the retainer when needed, misaligned teeth genetically, daily grinding teeth, over usage of a retainer, and many more. Sometimes this shifting of teeth becomes much noticeable, and you may wonder why orthodontic treatment is so necessary. Usually, a retainer treatment takes a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve, but the period is generally dependent on the types and causes of gaps in the teeth.
Types of retainers
Retainers are essential to keep your teeth fixed and guiding them back to a straight position in which they are supposed to be. Your usage of the type of retainers is determined by the nature of gaps in your teeth and the intervals of those gaps.
Following mentioned are the two basic types of retainers:
- Removable retainers are the retainers that you can take out of your mouth whenever needed or recommended, and they are also cleanable. They are used for small gaps.
- Fixed retainers, once installed, cannot be removed until your doctor removes them. They are generally the permanent source of treatment recommended when there are large gap intervals in teeth that can’t be cured by the removable retainers.
Can a Retainer Fix a Gap Without Braces?
The only thing that you need to keep in your mind while using the retainers is that you have to wear as per the recommendations of your doctor. If you are wearing a removable retainer, don’t forget to clean it regularly. In the case of the fixed retainers, brush your teeth daily across the retainer so that it can be free from any bacteria and debris.
Do you have to wear a retainer forever?
In order to keep your perfect smile you would have to use retainers every night for your whole life but it might happen that after some time it is not a necessity if your teeth become appropriately aligned.
Benefits of using a retainer
Following mentioned are the key benefits of using retainers:
- You would have a beautiful smile
- Removes gaps from the teeth and keep your teeth affixed
- Retainers align your jaw, teeth, and lips
- It prevents your gums from cavities and oral diseases
- Corrects a lousy bite and prevents facial pains and headaches
- Effects chewing in a positive way
Due to all the benefits as mentioned above, you should consider having a retainer for your teeth if they have gaps and spaces, but before doing so, it is better to consult your doctor to have a better recommendation. While you are on a retainer treatment, don’t forget to clean it regularly; otherwise, it may get affected by bacteria and can leave a harmful impact on your teeth and gums.
How to Clean Retainers | 5 Helpful Tips
- Use water to clean retainers and keep them moist. This would help to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Use toothpaste on retainers the same way you use it for your teeth. After brushing with toothpaste rinse them properly by taking them off.
- You can also buy a retainer cleaner.
- Soak the retainer in the denture cleaner and after some time use brush to scrub them.
- Baking soda can also make a difference, this would disinfect the retainer. Scrub the retainer with baking soda.