Ahh, you finally got your braces off. Congratulations! While this is definitely something to celebrate, there’s still one more step in your orthodontic treatment: wearing a retainer. It can take at least four to six months for the new position of your teeth to become permanent. If you are looking for one of the best dental retainers in Redlands CA, we can help you.
During that time, your teeth will try to shift back to their original position. When used as instructed, a retainer prevents that from happening. In other words, it’s very important! Curious to learn more about this orthodontic device? Here are five things you should know about retainers.
There are a variety of different types of retainers available. The type your dentist selects for you will be based on the type of dental problem you have. The three most common types of retainers include:
Hawley retainer: This type of removable retainer consists of a metal wire on an acrylic arch and is designed to fit comfortably on the lingual walls or palate of the mouth. The metal wire may need to be periodically adjusted by your dentist to ensure your teeth stay in the desired position.
Essix: This type of removable retainer is constructed entirely of transparent plastic. To make your retainer, your dentist will take an impression (or mold) of your teeth. This will then be sent off to a company to create your retainer.
Fixed retainer: Sometimes referred to as “permanent retainers,” this type of retainer involves affixing a single wire to the inner side of a few teeth. A fixed retainer is typically recommended if you need to wear your retainer at all times.
Every patient is unique and, as such, each person’s teeth move differently. Some patients will need to wear their retainer for a longer period of time or more often than others. Typically, retainers are only worn at night to sleep in (unless you have a fixed retainer), however, your dentist will make personalized recommendations based on the movement of your teeth.
It’s important to make cleaning your retainer part of your oral hygiene routine. If not cleaned properly, your retainer will become vulnerable to bacteria and germs. It’s recommended that you clean it daily with a toothbrush and a cleaning solution.
It may be hard to remember to take your retainer out before you eat or drink, but it’s important to do so. Food and drinks can get trapped under it which can increase your teeth’s exposure to acid, cause bad breath, and damage your retainer.
Wearing your retainer as instructed by your dentist is a critical part of your treatment. Your retainer is needed to give your muscles, tissues, and bones time to stabilize the teeth in their new alignment. Trust us, not wearing your retainer as directed is not worth it. That could lead to your teeth returning to their original position, added expense, and lost time.
If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontic retainers, please contact King House Dental Group to request a consultation with Dr. Steve Tatevossian.