Retainers after braces

You should start wearing retainers as soon as you remove your braces to prevent your teeth from shifting out of alignment. You can get your retainer from a general dentist or from an orthodontist. During your visit, the orthodontist will make an impression of your straightened teeth and fabricate the retainer out of wire or acrylic material. Often times, you will wear the retainer at night for the rest of your life. The two types of retainers after braces you can get are fixed and removable.

Fixed Retainers

This is made of a thin wire that is cemented to the back of the lower and upper teeth. The spaces between the wire and the teeth are usually hard to clean and must be done carefully using dental floss to avoid infection. Despite this disadvantage, the permanent retainers achieve better results because they hold the teeth permanently in place after the braces are removed.

Removable Retainers

These are made up of wires that go across the front and back of the teeth and held in place by hooks. Removable retainers are easier to clean and maintain. However, you have to remember to wear them for as long as you are directed by your dentist. The orthodontist may ask you to wear them throughout the day for the first few months. If no movement is detected after this period, they can ask you to wear them only at night, or for a few hours every day.

Functions of Retainers

The main purpose of retainers is to ensure that the patient’s teeth retain proper alignment. after braces are removed. The muscles and bones in the mouth are constantly growing and changing. These muscles and bones act like elastic rubber bands that pull the teeth in every direction, causing them to lose their alignment. A retainer will hold the teeth in place until the gum adapts to their newly aligned position.

Maintenance of After-Braces Retainers

Fixed retainers require regular maintenance and cleaning. You should, therefore, go to the dentist regularly so they can clean them and check if they are secure in place. Never use regular toothpaste to clean removable retainers because the toothpaste will destroy the acrylic surface and allow bacteria to grow. You should instead use a denture cleaning tablets. Remember to wear them as often as directed by your orthodontist.

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