Have you ever heard of International Retainer Day which falls on July 19 every year? This day challenges you to commit to your beautiful smile by keeping your retainer on after dental treatment. International Retainer Day recognizes the value of retainers, which help users to maintain a straight and beautiful smile years after undergoing orthodontic treatments.
In the early 1900s, retainers were introduced to prevent teeth from slipping sideways. The smile remained straight as a result of this. If you don’t use your retainer following orthodontic treatment, your teeth may shift or revert to their prior incorrect positions. So, if you’ve been slacking on your retainer, now is the time to get back on track.
History of International Retainer Day
Eons ago, the causes of dental problems weren’t well understood. In 5000 B.C., a Sumerian text described tooth worms as causing dental decay, and this idea wasn’t proven false until the 1700s.
Humans have been dealing with tooth pain and rearranging teeth for over 2,000 years. On mummified remains dating back to the Egyptian empire, archaeologists have found devices designed to treat ‘malocclusion’ — abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaw. Crude metal implements have been discovered wrapped around teeth. Pierre Fauchard came to be known as the ‘Father of Modern Dentistry’ thanks to his invention of modern braces. His device used string and flat strips of metal to draw the teeth together.
Despite its crudeness, this equipment was more akin to the retainers used in modern orthodontics. Individual connectors on each tooth were employed in Fauchard’s braces, allowing for more precise adjustment. Since then, orthodontics has evolved to provide more pleasant treatments, such as the inclusion of wiring and rubber bands in the mid-19th century.
Dr. Charles Hawley invented the adjustable retainer that allows for corrections by the orthodontist. It remains one of the most well-known methods for protecting the alignment of teeth.
The Essix retainer invented by John Sheridan in 1993 is becoming increasingly popular. This model of retainer allows for maintenance of teeth alignment while being significantly less obtrusive compared to the Hawley one. It’s made from thin, clear P.V.C. material, making it less noticeable on the wearer. Users can also wear these retainers without impacting their speech or obscuring their smiles.
Today, dental patients have a variety of options to suit their preferences. Now that’s something to smile about!
International Retainer Day timeline
One of the oldest medical professions begins in the Indus Valley Civilization.
The first book entirely devoted to dentistry — “The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth” — is published.
The first dental X-ray is used.
Rolph Behrens, an orthodontist, publishes a paper called "Growth in the Aging Craniofacial Skeleton" that definitively shows that faces continue to grow for life, thus making a case for retainers to be worn for life.
International Retainer Day FAQs
If my teeth have shifted, what do I do?
If your teeth have shifted from not wearing a retainer for long, talk to your dental care provider who will help you evaluate your options.
How long do people wear retainers?
Retainers are worn full-time for the first four to six months and then at bedtime for life.
How do I properly store my retainer?
Keep it in its case at room temperature.
How to Observe International Retainer Day
Smile and share
Share your #InternationalRetainerDay smile on social media. Post photos and videos to let people know about the importance of retainers.
Wear your retainer
This is the whole point of the holiday, so it's only proper that you wear your retainer. If it's been a long since you did, consult your dentist to see if you need a new one.
Visit the dentist
This is a day to show your teeth some extra love. Make a trip to the dentist for a checkup on those pearly whites.
5 Interesting Facts About Teeth
Changes over time
Regardless of dental treatments, human teeth tend to shift with age.
Structure of teeth
Teeth aren't firmly set in the jawbones — they're held in place by periodontal ligaments.
More than one type
There are two main types of retainers — fixed and removable.
Before anesthesia was invented, patients had to endure the raw pain of dental treatments.
Teeth are the only part of the human body that can't repair itself.
Why International Retainer Day is Important
Promotes good health
When talking about health, most people don't focus on teeth. International Retainer Day reminds us to check on the health of our teeth.
A day to smile more
A smile a day keeps worries at bay. On International Retainer Day we get to spread good cheer with those we come across.
There's much to learn
Tooth care has come a long way since ancient times. This day encourages us to explore these advancements and be grateful for modern dentistry.
International Retainer Day dates