Retainers: Key Benefits You Should Consider
A perfect smile cannot be achieved overnight. A regular flossing and brushing regimen combined with healthy eating and drinking habits creates a strong base for healthy teeth. This has to be followed from a young age. However, there are times when even healthy teeth do not erupt at the right spot, necessitating the use of braces that helps in correcting the misalignment.
When the orthodontia gets over, retainers are the appliance that helps to ensure that the smile continues to look healthy. Retainers are used after the braces are removed and keep the teeth straight. Duration of a retainer depends on a variety of factors.
As per the American Dental Association, a retainer can be used for multiple purposes. It corrects a variety of conditions like malocclusion (bad bite), protruding or crooked teeth, misalignment at any location of the mouth and jaws that do not line up. Malocclusion may be a genetic factor. It can also be caused due to an accident that damages the mouth, premature tooth loss or thumb sucking as a child.
If these conditions are left untreated, they can hamper the growth of a person in several ways and cause complicated issues like tooth decay and loss, difficulty in speaking and chewing, gum diseases and a substantial poor oral health. Braces can be made of different materials that include plastic, ceramic, metal or a combination of these materials. The final appliance is made according to the tooth movement that is required.
Removing of the braces is a reason to smile but to keep that smile the same way, retainers can be your best friend. Retainers refer to customised apparatus designed to keep the teeth in their proper position after the braces come off. Although the braces align the teeth, these newly aligned teeth have to be settled by the jawbone and soft tissue that house them.
As the teeth tend to shift over time, it is necessary to wear retainers while sleeping and between eating meals so that the heavy expense and immense effort that was taken to wear braces does not go to waste.
Types of retainers
There are two types of retainers:
- Removable retainers: These retainers easily slide out of the mouth whenever required by the patient, for example, while eating and brushing the teeth. Removable retainers have to be worn for at least a year after the braces have been removed. It depends on the judgement of the orthodontist to decide the duration of the retainers which is based on the treatment that was provided during the braces period. After that process, if no movement is detected, he/ she can prescribe to wear it only at night. Some people may have to indefinitely wear the retainers at night.
- Fixed retainers: According to the Korean Journal of Orthodontics, fixed retainers can be worn for several decades. They cannot be removed like removable retainers.
As noted by the Korean Journal of Orthodontics, there are three models to choose from the two types of retainers that are available.
- Hawley retainers: They are the most common type of retainers and they adhere to the shape of the mouth. They are kept in place with the help of a wire that is wrapped around the teeth.
- Fixed retainers: They are cemented to the back of the teeth to keep them in place.
- Invisible orthodontic retainer: These are also called Essix. They are made of plastic, therefore, it is not visible that the patient is wearing them.
Care of the Orthodontic retainers
Retainer maintenance is indispensable once an individual starts wearing them. It cannot be neglected and ignored. In case of the fixed retainer, regular visits to a trained dentist are vital to check for cavities and keep the areas around the teeth free to plaque and tartar. Removable retainers are using cleaned with the help of vinegar and water or denture cleaning tablets. It is important to keep wearing retainers as an individual spends a small fortune to have a beautiful smile. This, however, won’t stick around if the required care is not taken. A patient should brush twice daily and floss regularly. It should be made sure that proper upkeep of the orthodontic retainer is being maintained.
If you are looking for a dentist who can apply retainers, contact Jacaranda Smiles. The dental team at Jacaranda Smiles provides the best services in the field at affordable costs.