When your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to hold your teeth in position. Retainers are just as important as braces in the treatment. You will wear your retainer for as long as it takes for your teeth to settle into a better occlusion (bite) and for your bones, gums, and muscles to adapt to your new dental arrangement.
Your teeth are not set rigidly into your jawbone like you might think. They are held in place by bands of fibrous tissue called the periodontal ligaments. After your teeth have been moved into their ideal position by your braces and/or other orthodontic appliances, it takes time for the periodontal ligaments to adjust. When you are not wearing your retainer, pressure from your lips and tongue can cause your teeth to shift. Even if your teeth and smile don’t look like they are moving, that doesn’t mean they haven’t. If you go without wearing your retainer for long periods of time, your teeth will continue to move until misalignment is visibly noticeable.
A retainer is a custom-made appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after braces have been removed. Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (F). Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush will remove the plaque. Your retainer should be cleaned before and after you place it in your mouth.
There are two main types of dental retainers – removable retainers and fixed retainers. Both types maintain the position of your teeth, and each type of retainer has its benefits and drawbacks. Like the different types of orthodontic treatment, the different types of retainers allow each patient to have a customized fixture that is best for their smile and lifestyle. will choose the best type of retainer for you based on your personal needs and the likelihood that your teeth will shift out of place after braces or clear aligner treatment.Removable Retainers
Removable retainers are retainers that can be removed when you want to eat, brush your teeth, or floss. Removable retainers are a great option for patients and look similar to Invisalign clear aligners. We typically recommend that you wear your removable retainer all day and night for the first two months or so after your braces are removed. After this period, you will need to wear your removable retainer every night for the rest of your life.Fixed Retainers
A fixed retainer, also known as a permanent retainer, features a curved wire that fits the shape of your newly straightened teeth. Dr. Wazio will cement this wire to the inside of your front teeth to prevent your teeth from moving. As the name implies, fixed retainers always stay in your mouth and can only be removed by Dr. Wazio.
A retainer keeps your teeth from moving after they have been straightened with braces. Your teeth will always naturally try to shift back to their original position, which is called relapse. When used as instructed, a retainer helps to prevent this from happening.
The Team at Wazio Orthodontics acknowledges the fact that long-term retention is the best option to ensure stability of perfect alignment in all teeth. If your retainer breaks, stop wearing it and call either our Batavia or St. Charles orthodontic office as soon as possible so that your retainer can be repaired or replaced.