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Are teeth retainers necessary after orthodontic treatment?

Q: I have been undergoing orthodontic treatment for the past two years. I have been asked to wear retainers. Is it important to wear retainers during the day time, as I am not able to wear it due to some presentations? I also have the problem of cavities. I was told that the cavities have occurred due to the braces. Is it true? How can I protect my teeth?

A:Retainers are designed to hold your teeth in their corrected positions until the bones and gums adapt to the change. It is important to wear a retainer exactly as instructed otherwise the teeth may slip back to their original positions and the benefit of wearing the braces is lost. It’s a rule — you must wear your retainer at night to prevent any minor tooth movement. There are no exceptions if you want perfectly straight teeth. If retainers are not worn properly, teeth, jaws and muscles may move back towards the original positions and treatment progress will be hampered. You can follow a few guidelines to take care of your retainers. 1. Always wear your retainers. 2. At least once a day, clean your retainers with a soft brush and toothpaste. Do not use hot water. It will cause the retainers to distort. You can soak them in a mouthwash solution to keep away built up odour. 3. Retainers are easy to lose. If you take them out to eat, don't wrap them in a napkin. It could get thrown out. If a retainer is lost or broken, make a new one. 4. Visit your dentist regularly. You have probably had cavities because you have not used your braces properly.

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