As an orthodontist, we often suggest that a patient wears a retainer, or a night guard, in order to protect the teeth following a procedure. Many patients wonder why it is necessary to continue with another treatment after they complete their braces treatment and have straight teeth. The answer is that regardless of how well we move the teeth into a new alignment, there is going to be opposing forces that attempt to pull the teeth out of alignment once more.
Different Types of Retainers
Bad habits such as grinding teeth in one’s sleep can cause significant damage to one’s teeth. For this reason, people may need to wear night guards or a retainer to help keep track of their teeth, regardless of past orthodontic procedures. Naturally, there are many different types of retainers or night guard with their own set of uses.
Regardless of the type of retainer, it is important for patients to understand that the retainer serves a very important purpose. Thus, it is critical that the patient continues to wear the retainer for as long as has our office advises.
Alignment and Braces
As an orthodontist, one of the most important and regular functions that we perform is using braces to straighten people’s teeth. Unfortunately, once we remove the braces after the treatment, there is a tendency of the body to pull teeth out of the correct alignment. When the body does this, people who do not wear their retainer can end up having to undergo another treatment.
In order to avoid the body pulling the teeth out of alignment, we will prescribe a night guard or a retainer to help keep the teeth in alignment. Braces work by applying pressure in order to move the teeth out of their natural state. Retainers ensure that the body cannot pull the teeth, and ruin the patient’s teeth.
Also known as bruxism, the habit of grinding one’s teeth in the night is a very common problem. As a result of grinding of the teeth, people find that they can wear down the enamel, mismatch their teeth, create dental problems and even cause the newly aligned teeth to shift. Fortunately, we can resolve bruxism with the help of a night guard.
A night guard is simply a retainer that goes into the mouth while one sleeps, which prevents the user from grinding teeth together during sleep. It is an extremely cost-effective and efficient tool to prevent damage to the teeth.
Avoiding The Need For Secondary Treatments
A critical function of a retainer is to prevent the patient from having to go in for secondary treatments. In the absence of a retainer, it is very easy for the patient to grind teeth down or move the teeth out of alignment. Wearing a retainer may seem like a hassle, but in the long run, it will save the patient time, money and aggravation by preventing the need for secondary treatments.
Learn more about wearing a retainer by calling our office today.
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