A retainer is a removable dental appliance that is designed to maintain the position of your teeth after orthodontic work. They are often worn after braces are removed.
There are two main types of retainers.
- The first type is used immediately after braces are removed. These retainers help stabilize your teeth and are still necessary in many cases. They should only be worn at night, and can usually be removed by the patient for cleaning.
- The second type of retainer is a long-term retainer. These retainers are designed to be worn all the time and can only be removed by our dentist at Caspian Dental Center.
How Long Will I Need to Wear Retainers?
When you wear braces, the archwire puts pressure on the teeth and causes them to move. The plastic or wires of the braces help guide the teeth into their ideal positions. Once the braces are taken off, the archwire is no longer guiding the teeth, and those teeth can shift back. To prevent this counter-movement from happening, a patient will need to wear retainers.
To be effective, a patient will need to wear the retainer for the time prescribed, which is usually full-time for the first six months, and part-time during the last six months.
Benefits of Retainers
Improved Smile Appearance
Wearing a retainer helps your teeth maintain their new, beautiful appearance by helping keep your teeth in their straight position after orthodontic treatment.
Preserve Bone Density
When teeth are not aligned properly, the maxilla and mandible shift, resulting in bone resorption. Retainers help to preserve the jaw bone’s density. To be clear, retainers do not directly stop the bone from reabsorbing. Instead, retainers hold the teeth in place, preventing the bone from shifting. Wearing retainers after orthodontic treatment is an important step in preserving healthy bone density.
Money is Saved by Avoiding Future Dental Work
Dental retainers are very effective at maintaining the results of previous dental work. Retainers prevent teeth from shifting out of place, This could eliminate problems that would need costly restorative dental work, such as a filling, crown, or dental implant to correct.
You’ve probably heard of the term “lisp” to refer to someone who speaks with a lisp. A lisp is when a person’s tongue is incorrectly positioned when they speak. A retainer can help correct this positioning and improve the way a person speaks.
Improved Chewing Function
After your teeth have been straightened, you will need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving out of position. Retainers are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely and comfortably. Wearing a retainer also helps maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment, and can also help with jaw pain and headaches.
Visit Caspian Dental Center at 410 Park Grove Dr., Katy, TX 77450 or call (832) 321-4901 to book an appointment for the best dental care for your specific needs.