Life with retainers can be challenging, but they are necessary to keep your teeth straight. It may have taken months for you to achieve that look, but you still need to work to keep it that way. Wearing your retainers consistently helps get your teeth settled in their new alignment. Without them, your teeth may go back to their old alignment, undoing all your sacrifice.
This does not mean you have to wear them even while you eat. Here are some truths you need to hear:
It’s Never for Eating
While you can drink with retainers on, eating may not only be impossible but also dangerous. You may have tried doing it once and thought you were supposed to learn how to do it over time. Debris may easily get stuck in and around corners of the dental appliance and remain there to cause annoyance in your mouth.
It may also give you that drowning feeling when you have too many things in your mouth. Do not attempt to eat with your retainers on because it may lead to choking. Some retainers may also become easy to remove over time and might fall off while you are trying to chew with them.
It’s Not a Mouth Guard
You might think you can start engaging in contact sports just because you have your retainers on. A mouth guard is different from a retainer. While retainers may keep your teeth in place, they will not protect your teeth from blunt force. You will need to remove them and replace them with a real mouth guard before engaging in any type of sports. People who just had their braces removed still have tender teeth and gums that are prone to damage.
The retainer’s sole purpose is to help transition your mouth to its new alignment. Do not abuse it.