Are you looking to elevate your smile’s appearance in orthodontic dentistry? You should know about the vital treatment protocols necessary for successful orthodontic treatment. Other than learning only about the best type of teeth aligners to get, learn about orthodontic retainers.
What Are Orthodontic Retainers?
At Universal Dental, we describe orthodontic retainers as dental appliances that protect the results of orthodontic interventions. Ideally, begin your orthodontic treatment by wearing braces that will correct your jaw alignment and positioning of teeth. Such treatments take months to complete. After that intervention, a dentist in 78148 will recommend retainers to retain your teeth in their new position.
Why Should You Wear Your Orthodontic Retainers?
Your orthodontist will recommend wearing retainers after any orthodontic treatment in Universal City, TX. They help hold your teeth in position, crucial during the first year after treatment. Ideally, if you do not wear retainers immediately, your teeth will slowly shift back to their initial position. Teeth can move after removing braces due to various factors, including:
- Forceful chewing, especially tough-to-chew and hard foods.
- Poor oral habits like teeth grinding, opening cans and lids with your teeth, and fingernail biting, among others.
Therefore, dentists in Universal City consider orthodontic retainers crucial for preventing failed orthodontic treatments.
Types of Retainers
Like there are varieties to choose from in braces, orthodontic retainers also come in different types. The common types of retainers are:
- Permanent retainers – consist of small metal wires attached/glued/bonded to the back side of your front teeth. They are installed permanently so that only an orthodontist can remove them. They are perfect for individuals who do not care for the tedious process of wearing and removing retainers. You should not worry about aesthetics since permanent retainers are invisible from the outside.
- Hawley retainers – consist of a plastic plate that molds to the roof or the floor of your mouth, connected to a wire that wraps around your teeth. These removable retainers are easy to use, especially regarding dental hygiene. However, your teeth may shift if you do not use Hawley retainers properly.
- Plastic retainer – purely features a removable, clear, plastic material molded to the impressions of your mouth for a perfect fit. It makes for the most affordable retainer in orthodontics. Besides, they have a subtle appearance due to the material’s color.
Fast Facts About Orthodontic Retainers
Before you complete your orthodontic treatment with braces, you should know a thing or two about dental care post-treatment. If you want your smile to remain intact for many years, you cannot escape wearing retainers after removing your braces. Some of the facts you should know about retainers in orthodontic dentistry are:
- They are mandatory to wear – especially during the first few months after removing braces.
- You may need to wear retainers for the rest of your life – it is especially crucial for people who get braces in their older years. After the first year of post-orthodontic treatment, your dentist may always recommend wearing retainers.
- The amount of time you need to wear your retainer often changes – over time, you may only need to wear the retainers at night when you sleep or for a few hours. It depends on your diligence to wear them consistently during the first few months after treatment.
- You may need braces again if you don’t wear a retainer. The main reason why your orthodontist will emphasize wearing retainers is to ensure you do not need retreatment after a few months or a year post-treatment. If you neglect wearing orthodontic retainers, you may eventually need to wear braces again to realign your teeth.
- Some types of retainers are shaped with heat – if you ill-place your retainers, they will get distorted. Avoid exposing them to direct heat sources as they will disfigure and become ill-fitting.
- Retainers need cleaning – they can get dirty over time, collecting plaque and debris from your teeth’s surfaces. Keeping your retainers clean is obligatory for sustaining your oral health post-orthodontic treatment. Besides, unless you want bad breath because of your retainers, aim to clean them daily before or after wearing them.