If you’ve had your teeth straightened, wearing your dental retainers regularly will help keep your teeth straight.
Without reinforcement from retainers, the tissue supporting your teeth naturally moves them back to their old positions, Isabel Cristina Suastegui-Mursuli, DDS, a general dentist in Melrose Park, Ill., tells WebMD Connect to Care. You might also be interested in using retainers to address a new teeth straightening issue. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about buying your retainers online.
Who Are Dental Retainers For?
Generally, dental retainers are for anyone who has had their teeth straightened, such as those who have used braces or aligners. Dental retainers should be worn as soon as possible after your teeth have finished straightening to avoid teeth moving back to their original position and causing excess space, Tiffanie L. Garrison-Jeter, DMD, cosmetic dentist of Definition Dental and Wellness Spa, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
There’s no way to know how long it will take for your teeth to start shifting back to their previous positions. “Some people take weeks, months to see a shift in their teeth,” Garrison-Jeter says. “If my husband doesn’t wear his retainer, I can start seeing a shift of space between his teeth the next day.”
If you’ve had your teeth aligned, it’s recommended that you wear your retainer for life. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there’s no such thing as wearing your retainer for too long.
An orthodontist could also prescribe removable retainers for minor teeth straightening corrections. The individual features of your case determine whether this option is right for you.
Can I Buy Dental Retainers Online?
It is possible to order custom retainers online. “I'd say people choose this because it's cheaper since you're not going to a licensed professional to get your stuff,” Garrison-Jeter says.
There are several teeth straightening companies that sell direct-to-consumer dental retainers on their websites. When you place your order online, you skip an in-person office visit but may require a teledentistry appointment with an orthodontist. The company mails a kit to your house with instructions on how to create a mold of your mouth called an impression. You ship back the kit, and you’re sent a retainer that’s customized for you.
Most aligner companies offer professional orthodontic supervision. That way, you can ask plenty of questions about your devices and help ensure their success.
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