Dental Retainers (after Braces)
Dental Retainers (after Braces)
Dental retainers are orthodontic appliances used to hold a patient's teeth in place after the corrective orthodontic treatment has finished. The orthodontic retainers hold the teeth in their new correct position as the surrounding gums and bone adjust and reform around them, until they are totally stable.
Teeth retainers are made from plastic and stainless steel wire and can be either removable (Hawley, Essix) or fixed. They are custom made orthodontic devices, designed carefully for each individual patient based on a mold of the teeth.
Dental retainers can also be used to treat more minor orthodontic problems such as a small gap or a single slightly misaligned tooth.
Why you need Orthodontic Retainers? - How Dental Retainers work?
When dental braces are removed, the re-positioned teeth have a natural tendency to move back towards their original positions. The purpose of dental retainers is to prevent it by holding teeth to their new positions.
As a child’s jaw and teeth continue to grow after the completion of orthodontic treatment, if a dental retainer is not used, the relative positions of teeth may change again causing new misalignments. Even if the orthodontic treatment has finished, the jaw bone around the moved teeth might not be yet completely reformed. The orthodontic retainers ‘secure’ the tooth to keep it stable until the jaw bone has fully formed. Proper use of dental retainers after the orthodontic treatment will help maintain a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.
For how long do I have to wear a dental retainer
Orthodontists recommend that the use of dental retainers must start immediately after the braces are removed. Most retainers should be worn 24 hours a day for the first week, and afterwards only at night during sleep. After removing the dental braces, the orthodontist will instruct each patient when to wear the retainer based on the individual’s needs.
The retainers generally have to be worn regularly for a period of 6 months to a year, and then worn periodically (typically during sleep) for as long as the orthodontist recommends. The amount of time the retainer must be worn varies, but many orthodontists recommend teenagers wear their retainers into their early 20s. If a patient does not wear the retainer as recommended, the teeth might move towards their original position (relapse).
Retainers must be removed during sports, while eating any food or drinking staining or acidic beverages.
Problems related to Orthodontic Retainers
Different types of dental retainers
Dental Retainer Cleaning & Care
Orthodontic retainers are expensive but fragile dental appliances, exposed to the bacteria, dental plaque, and food leftovers in our mouth. You must take extra care to protect them from damage and keep them as clean as possible. A lost or broken appliance can add months to the length of an orthodontic treatment, and increase the cost of orthodontics.
Orthodontic retainer cleaning
The following tips for retainer cleaning can help keep the retainers free of dental plaque bacteria:
Protection of dental retainers
Proper care of your teeth retainers can save time and money on costly repairs and remakes.
The cost of orthodontic treatment can be significant and many patients may not afford it if they are not covered by their dental insurance. Learn how to choose a dental insurance plan that will provide the best dental treatment to you and your family.
Articles about : Orthodontics