Once teeth are fixed using braces or clear aligners, more treatment is needed to keep your teeth perfect and strong. A retainer is somewhat of a post-treatment insurance, making sure that all the work done to your teeth is maintained for longevity. Fortunately, the hard part is over, as retainers are fairly easy and hassle-free, even if you must wear them for quite some time. For all of your orthodontic and retainer needs, here at Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics we have what you need.
What Are Retainers?
Retainers come from the word “retain,” literally meaning they retain your teeth’s position and shape after orthodontic work and alignment with braces or aligners. Retainers are usually made from plastic or metal. Some retainers are permanent, meaning they are fixed to the back of your teeth. They stay there for however long you need to have them before being removed professionally by our orthodontists. The permanent retainer is usually made from thin wire. On the other hand, there are non-permanent removable retainers that look similar to Invisalign clear aligners. Removable retainers are either clear plastic or a combination of plastic and metal. Removable, clear retainers are the preferred method for most patients due to their ease.
How Do You Get A Retainer?
After the removal of your braces, or once you no longer have the need to wear an aligner, we will provide you with a retainer. Retainers are custom made, as your teeth are scanned and examined and then your retainer is molded in its shape. The process is slightly painful at first, but it is easy to get used to. Usually, patients will be advised to wear their retainer for at least a year, while some adults may have to wear their retainer nightly for several years or for life. For the first three to six months, the retainer will have to be worn constantly. However, once your teeth stop shifting and you check with one of our professionals, you will only need to wear them nightly. Wearing your retainer in the long term helps protect your teeth, especially from grinding.
Pros and Cons of a Retainer
A retainer is not only advisable, but it is imperative following teeth alignment. It has many benefits, too. For instance, it stops your teeth from moving and even grinding at night, which prevents long-term issues. A retainer keeps your smile perfect for years, without it ever becoming crooked. When it comes to permanent retainers, they are hidden, easy to maintain, and it is impossible to forget or lose them. However, some patients find them uncomfortable and difficult to floss with. Removable retainers are convenient for their comfort, customization, and long-term protection. On the other hand, they require more effort and maintenance to clean, and you may end up losing or dropping them. In either case, both will do the job adequately. If you are worried about your teeth, the solutions are quite simple. Whether it is a small orthodontic problem or major teeth issues, braces, aligners, and retainers are effective and 100% safe. With several options, such as the permanent retainer or removable plastic or metal retainers, you will be ready for a toothache-free life.
For more about retainers, contact us at Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics at (267) 703-7877.