Once orthodontic treatment has been completed, the use of retainers after braces is a very important part of the continuing maintenance of teeth. Retainers will go a long way toward keeping the same bite and smile that the braces have formed over the previous few years. Retainers are usually fabricated by the orthodontist who performed the orthodontic treatment. This is customarily done by taking an impression of the newly straightened teeth and fabricating the retainer out of wire and/or acrylic material before inserting it during a separate appointment once the dentist or dental lab has created it. In most cases, retainers must be worn for several years, if not indefinitely.
Types of retainers
There are two types of retainers after braces: fixed and removable. The choice of
The fixed type of retainer is usually a thin wire worn across the back of the lower or upper front teeth that
The removable type of retainer is usually a combination of a wire that goes across the front of the lower or upper front teeth and is held in place with a combination of acrylic material and clasps that insert in and around the back teeth to hold the retainer in place. Since it is removable, this type of retainer makes it easier to clean your teeth, but you have to remember to wear it daily. Initially, your orthodontist will likely want you to wear it all day and all night for at least three months. If no movement is detected, you may be instructed to wear the retainer only at night or for a few hours in the daytime.
The obvious disadvantage of a removable retainer after braces is the fact that it can be lost or damaged and can even melt or change shape if it is exposed to high heat. It is very important not to leave the retainer lying unprotected and accessible since pets love to chew on them! Retainers wrapped in tissues could be
Throughout and after the use of both types of retainers, periodic maintenance in the form of regular retainer check-ups with your orthodontist
For removable retainers, regular toothpaste should never be used for cleaning because it can dull the acrylic surface and cause bacteria to stick to it. Denture cleaning tablets or a mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients can help clean the bacteria from your retainer.
Most patients have invested a lot of money in orthodontic care. Using retainers after braces is an important part of the treatment and