Retainers After Braces: Why Is It Important?
Majority of people make the mistake of undermining the importance of wearing retainers after braces. Dental retainers are custom-made orthodontic devices generally made of wires or clear plastic. They hold your teeth in position and retain their corrected alignment after an orthodontic surgery or any corrective procedure such as dental braces.
Why Is It Important to Wear Retainers After Braces?
Your teeth are securely held in their position with ligaments and bone. In case of misaligned teeth, moving them in their ideal position is not easy. Orthodontists study your case and prescribe suitable surgeries or orthodontic devices such as braces depending on your requirements.
These devices apply mechanical force which in turn triggers changes in the surrounding bones and ligaments to allow shifts in position of your teeth. This is a carefully planned procedure which progresses gradually to shift your misaligned teeth in their ideal position.
Even after your teeth are shifted in their ideal position with the help of braces, they have a tendency to shift back to their original position. This may nullify all the efforts, time and money you spent for the Orthodontic treatment if you don't use retainers.
Retainers help retain the corrected alignment of your teeth and ensure that they don't shift back to the original position. Hence, it is important that you wear retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist to retain your beautiful smile!
What Are the Different Types of Retainers?
Based on your orthodontic requirement, your orthodontist may prescribe any of the following types of dental retainers:
This is an adjustable type of retainer made of bendable wire and plastic or acrylic. The wire goes around the front side of your teeth and the acrylic or plastic portion is molded to fit comfortably and perfectly inside your mouth.
With proper care and caution in handling, this can last for a long time. They are available in a wide variety of styles and colors, so you can choose one which suits your requirements and style as well.
It is virtually invisible on your teeth and is made from molded clear plastic. It is less noticeable as compared to a Hawley dental retainer. Although, it comes with a minor setback. It doesn't allow the top and bottom set of teeth to meet in a natural way. Hence, it is the lesser preferred option among some orthodontists. This type of retainer also has a comparatively shorter lifespan than the Hawley retainers.
Permanent Bonded Retainer
As the name suggests, it is a permanent fixture in your mouth and is bonded to the back of your teeth. It doesn't offer the flexibility of removal like the Hawley or Essix retainer. It can only be removed with professional help.
However, because people usually don't wear retainers as prescribed and remove them often, orthodontists prefer starting off with a bonded retainer and then later switch to a Hawley or an Essix type of dental retainer after six months or a year.
The biggest advantage o this permanent bonded retainer is that it is the most effective in terms of retaining the corrected position of your teeth after braces.
No matter the type of retainer you choose, it is important to wear them dedicatedly as prescribed. Also, remember to handle and maintain them carefully. Talk to your orthodontist about how you can benefit the most from dental retainers and preserve them for a long time as replacing retainers can be expensive!
Sharon William's day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighborhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.
Last review and update: February 2019