Retainers are custom-fit to your teeth and mouth. They are made from plastic or metal, or a combination of both materials, and can be removable or fixed.
Fixed retainers involve a wire bonded to the inside of your teeth (the tongue side). They can be worn on the upper or lower teeth. Removable retainers consist of plastic and wire or clear plastic trays. Removable retainers offer the benefit of taking them out of your mouth to eat or clean your teeth and gums.
Most people need retainers after wearing braces. After you wear braces, the soft tissues around your teeth, and your teeth themselves, are not as stable as before treatment. They need time to adjust to their new position and restabilize. A retainer holds your teeth in place to prevent the teeth from moving out of position and wasting the time you spent fixing them.
If you only have one or two teeth that need to move into proper position, or you have a gap between two teeth, the team at Smile Orthodontics may recommend a retainer as your first course of treatment instead of braces.
Most patients wear a retainer all day and night for about 12 months after their braces come off. Depending on your unique circumstances, your orthodontist may recommend continued wear of the retainer.
It’s important to keep your retainer clean. Remove your orthodontic appliance if you have a removable retainer to clean your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth, and then brush the retainer to remove bacteria and debris from the appliance. You can also deep clean the retainer with water, mild dish soap, and a soft toothbrush. Toothpaste could scratch the retainer’s surface.
If you have a fixed retainer, you should brush and floss twice daily. Floss threaders help guide a piece of floss under the wire, so you can still clean between the teeth and under the gum line.
To find out if you need a retainer, call Smile Orthodontics or use the convenient online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.