What Type of Orthodontic Retainer Will You Be Wearing?

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Once you’ve completed orthodontic treatment and achieved straightened teeth, it’s important to maintain their alignment to prevent regression. Retainers are employed for this purpose, securely anchoring your teeth in their new positions. These devices are custom-made to fit your mouth precisely, crafted by taking an impression of your aligned teeth and gums. In a specialized laboratory, the retainer is then fabricated using materials such as wire or acrylic, tailored to your specific needs based on the type of retainer chosen.

Fixed Retainers

These consist of a thin wire that is bonded to the back of your upper or lower front teeth. This wire replaces the brackets used during braces treatment. It remains in place permanently, ensuring your teeth stay aligned continuously, eliminating the need to worry about maintaining straight teeth.

Removable Retainers

Unlike fixed wire retainers, removable retainers consist of a combination of wire and an acrylic base, equipped with hooks or clasps that secure them to your upper teeth to maintain their position. They also anchor around the back teeth in the front of the mouth. Initially, these retainers are worn daily for at least three months. Once approved, wearing them at night suffices. However, removable retainers come with drawbacks. They can be accidentally discarded while eating away from home. Exposure to hot foods or beverages can distort the acrylic base. Therefore, when not in use, store removable retainers in a suitable case and keep them in a secure location.

Retainer Care

Now, let’s delve into the proper care routine for your retainer to ensure it maintains its functionality over time. When addressing the cleanliness of your retainer, it’s crucial to sanitize it daily to eliminate oral residues such as plaque and food particles.

Cleaning a fixed retainer involves using dental floss that you insert between your teeth and move it up, down, and sideways to remove food and debris, much like how you flossed when you had braces.

Maintaining the cleanliness of your detachable retainer can be accomplished through several methods:

  • Gently brush using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mildly abrasive toothpaste.
  • Soak the item in denture cleaning tablets infused with antibacterial components.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a disinfecting oral rinse.
  • Soak in a solution of vinegar and water to effectively eliminate bacteria.

To maintain best oral health, it’s important to diligently care for your teeth and gums through daily brushing and meticulous cleaning of your retainer. Visit your dentist regularly are essential to address any cavities, ensure thorough cleaning of newly aligned teeth to remove hardened plaque and tartar, and achieve a polished finish. Your dentist will also assess the condition of your teeth, gums, and retainer to ensure proper functionality and overall health.

As shown, maintaining your teeth in their correct alignment after braces are removed is equally crucial as during the orthodontic straightening process. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact our team. We’re here to assist you with your orthodontic needs!