The journey towards a perfect smile doesn’t end once braces come off; it’s merely a shift to a crucial maintenance phase that people often underestimate: the era of the teeth retainers. These unsung heroes of dental perfection are pivotal in preserving the beauty and functionality of your smile after undergoing orthodontic treatment. But what exactly are retainers, and why are they as significant as the treatments leading up to their necessity?
In this comprehensive guide, we will demystify the purpose of teeth retainers, diving deep into their role in maintaining dental health and ensuring the long-lasting effectiveness of orthodontic treatments. We’ll explore the different types of retainers, understand their specific functions, and discover why they’re an indispensable part of your post-brace care regimen.
What Is A Teeth Retainer?
A teeth retainer is a custom-made orthodontic device, usually made of clear plastic or wires, made to keep teeth in place after braces or any method of realigning teeth. After the active phase of orthodontic treatment, retainers stabilize the teeth in their new positions, ensuring the surrounding gums and bones settle securely around the teeth, preventing any unwanted movement or relapse.
If you’re nearing the end of your orthodontic journey or want to ensure your smile remains in top condition, Kumra Orthodontics is the place to turn to. Known for excellence and a patient-first approach, this leading orthodontist in Washington DC doesn’t just perfect smiles; they provide the comprehensive post-treatment care necessary to maintain them.
Different Types Of Teeth Retainers
Teeth retainers are essential for maintaining the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. They come in various types, each designed to suit different needs and preferences. Here are the main types of teeth retainers:
One of the most common types, Hawley retainers are made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, custom made to fit the shape of your mouth. The wire goes around the outside of your teeth, while the acrylic is molded to fit perfectly against the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth. These retainers are durable, adjustable, and can be taken off for easy cleaning.
Essix (Clear) Retainers
Essix retainers are made of clear, thin, durable plastic, and resemble Invisalign trays. They are custom made to fit over your entire dental arch, making them less noticeable than Hawley retainers. They’re popular due to their aesthetic appeal and are also removable, allowing for ease of eating and cleaning.
Fixed (Bonded) Retainers
Unlike removable options, fixed retainers consist of a thin wire bonded directly to the backside of the teeth, usually the lower front teeth, keeping them in place. They are invisible from the outside, offering a discreet method of retention. They’re especially useful for patients with a high risk of teeth reverting to their previous positions.
A product by Invisalign, Vivera retainers are similar to Essix retainers but come from a proprietary material that is 30% Stronger. They are custom-made from an impression or scan of your teeth, ensuring a perfect fit. These retainers are highly durable and resistant to wear and tear.
5 Benefits Of Wearing Teeth Retainers
Wearing teeth retainers comes with several crucial benefits, paramount among them being the ability to keep teeth in their correct, aligned position. Here are some detailed advantages:
Keep Teeth In Place
After braces or other orthodontic treatments, teeth have a natural tendency to shift back towards their original positions.
There are special types of teeth retainers. Some use them to keep teeth straight while others can help prevent snoring or improve breathing while the patient is sleeping at night. Also, some retainers can prevent grinding while sleeping.
Aids With Speech Impediments
Retainers can adjust tongue placement which helps kids and people with speech impediments form sounds correctly. Also, retainers protect the teeth from tongue thrust while talking or swallowing which can push teeth forward.
Enhance And Protect Oral Health
Straight and properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain. We all know the importance of brushing and flossing. And with straight teeth, proper brushing, and regular flossing, plaque buildup, and cavities will go away. As a result, better oral health.
Adjusting to the new feeling of not wearing the Invisalign takes some time. This is mostly after they are taken off or the patient stops wearing it. Hence, they clench their jaws to adapt. This can lead to teeth grinding and headaches. To prevent patients from frequent clenching, orthodontists recommend wearing teeth retainers to keep teeth straight and help the patient adapt to the changes.
Wearing teeth retainers recommended by your orthodontists is crucial in maintaining straight, good-looking teeth. On the contrary, that is not the only purpose of retainers. There are many different types of retainers. Each type has its own use, application, and benefits. There are no universal retainers. That’s why, it’s important to consult your professional orthodontists to ensure you’re wearing the right type of retainers and following the best practice for your case.
Remember, each person has their own special case and needs. Don’t wear retainers randomly without consulting your orthodontists. Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and treating oral health problems involving teeth, jaw, gums, and mouth. It’s best to talk to your orthodontist before using or wearing any dental apparatus that can affect your oral healthcare.