Orthodontic retainers are usually the last stage of your teeth straightening treatment. They are custom-made supports typically made from wires or clear plastic that are designed to help the bone and surrounding tissue of your teeth reposition correctly after having braces removed.
You can either get fixed or removable retainers, depending on how long you want to use them for.
Fixed retainers are typically a thin wire design, which are worn along the back of your lower or upper front teeth. They are then bonded in place with a cement similar to what is applied on the brackets of your braces. Despite taking a little longer to clean, they are known for providing the best results.
Or you can choose removable retainers, which are similar in design but instead use a combination of acrylic material and hooks or clasps that you can insert in and around the back of your teeth. This will help to hold the retainer in place, while being easy to remove for easy cleaning. But your dentist or orthodontist will advise you to keep it in day and night for a minimum of three months before you can reduce wearing time to just a few hours.
Within the first month after having your braces taken out, the chances of your teeth relapsing are high, which is why it is important to use retainers until your bite is stable. Retainers are issued to you once your orthodontic treatment is completed and are usually worn for the same period your braces were.
However, one of the major benefits of retainers it that they’re quite discreet in design, so most people won’t even know you are wearing them! They are also fully removable and easy to do so, therefore you won’t need to worry about avoiding certain foods or awkwardly trying to brush and floss your teeth.
Once your teeth are straightened and after using a retainer you will find your teeth are easier to clean, with reduced plaque build-up decreasing the chance of cavities. Children may also find it easier to chew their food more effectively, thereby ensuring they get more nutrients from what they’re eating.
To find out more about orthodontic retainers please get in touch