You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.
- Removable retainers are made of clear acrylic material. They are practically invisible. This clear retainer is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth. You must be very careful when handling your retainer, as they are fragile and costly to replace. It should be kept in the special case that we give you when not being worn.
To clean these retainers, brush them daily with toothbrush and warm water, and soak them in retainer cleaning solutions. The retainer should be worn daily.
- Fixed retainers consist of stainless steel wires bonded behind the front teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your teeth from shifting. Patients with bonded retainers must be careful when biting with their front teeth as the bonding material may break from biting hard foods. Teeth may shift quickly after the bonding is broken.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- A fixed retainer is great since you don't have to keep track of it
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while brushing and flossing. Patients often need to use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.