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.
- Traditional removable retainers typically can be clear. These look similar to clear alignrs such as Invisalign. Other tradiitonal removable aligners include a metal wire covered in clear acrylic that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth.
- Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. The negative is that it is very difficult to keep the teeth clean.
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.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove plaque while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth. Not all patients are candidates for fixed retainers. Those patients that have had a hard time keeping braces and teeth clean throughout treatment will not be candidates for fixed retainers.