Retainers & why we wear them

Most of us are familiar with braces, those complex and somewhat scary looking metal constructions that we had as kids to straighten out our crooked teeth. Fewer are familiar with retainers, though they are often associated in the minds of those fortunate ones who didn’t need braces with those who have had them. So what exactly are retainers, and why should we wear them?

Retainers are generally given to patients who have had braces to aid them in keeping their teeth straight after the braces are removed. However, the benefits of wearing a retainer can go beyond this, aiding in eliminating speech problems. Of course, trying to keep your child in a retainer can be difficult, they often want to take them out (especially when eating) and forget to put them back in before dumping their tray into the cafeteria garbage.

Why Else Should I Wear My Retainer?

Getting The Most Out Of Your Food?

Let’s take a look at some basic mechanics of nutrition. The purpose of chewing is to break down your food to make it easier for your stomach to digest, straighter teeth help you to properly chew your food. Additionally, longer times spent chewing produce additional saliva, aiding in breaking it down further. So to put it simply, retainers aid in straight teeth, straight teeth aid in proper chewing, chewing aids in proper digestion, proper digestion means more nutrients from your food. It’s all in a chain.

Simplifying Dealing With Diabetes?

This one may seem a bit unexpected, but properly wearing your retainer can help manage diabetes. It’s another ‘chain reaction’ sort of scenario. Straight teeth are easier to care for, and thus improves your ability to maintain good oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene has been directly connected to ailments of the blood resulting from diabetes, so by extension, wearing your retainer aids in dealing with diabetes in the end.

Improving Speech

We mentioned this earlier, and it’s time to come back to it. Retainers have been shown to aid in proper placement of the tongue, which in turn aids children who are learning vocabulary and language to get proper pronunciation.

How To Get Into The Habit Of Retaining Your Retainers

So the question at this point is how do we get into the habit of keeping, and using, our retainers? There are some simple steps you can take to make the whole process easier. First, get a larger carrying case for it, and when you’re not using it, put it in there. Even if you just take it out for a meal. The larger case will be harder to lose.

If your children or loved ones have a retainer? Slip a note in there to brighten their day, and also to remind them to put the retainer away. While you’re at it, make sure to always put it in the same spot. The retainer, not the note. This way you’ll always know where to look for it, just like your keys.

After a while, it’ll all become routine, and you or your children can retain some healthy habits around the use and maintenance of their retainer.