A retainer is a dental device worn after orthodontic treatment is complete to prevent your teeth from moving out of their newly corrected positions. Retainers are custom-made to specifically fit your mouth or your child’s mouth.
You need to wear a retainer following orthodontic treatment for two main reasons: first, even though your alignment has been corrected, your teeth are at a high risk of moving back, that is until your jaw, teeth, gums, and muscles have fully adapted to the change. Your retainer holds your teeth in the correct position while the rest of your mouth adapts.
Second, over time it’s possible for your teeth to shift for a variety of reasons. For example, if you have orthodontic treatment before your wisdom teeth emerge, your retainer prevents your teeth from moving when your wisdom teeth begin to grow.
You should have regular appointments with your orthodontic care providers at Braces Culture so that when your wisdom teeth do erupt, the appropriate steps can be taken to protect your oral health.
There are two different kinds of retainers. Your orthodontist recommends the type of retainer that will best protect your teeth.
A fixed retainer is a wire that runs along the back of either your upper or bottom front teeth (or both). The wire is bonded in place with cement similar to that used to attach braces brackets to your teeth. If you have a fixed retainer, you need to learn to clean and floss around the wire, carefully removing debris and bacteria responsible for tooth decay
A removable retainer is a device with a wire that runs across the front of your upper or lower teeth that’s held in place with clasps that attach to your back teeth.
Invisalign treatment also involves a retainer, which is just like a set of the corrective aligners you wear during treatment. Taking care of your teeth is easier with removable retainers, but you must wear them for the time designated by your orthodontist.
Your orthodontist provides specific instructions for wearing your retainer when your orthodontic treatment is complete. Most patients wear a retainer continuously for six months following the end of orthodontic treatment and then only at night.
If you have questions or concerns about retainers, call or book an appointment online today.
Our office accepts most major dental insurance providers. For additional questions regarding insurance, please contact our office.