After spending months or years caring for your braces, it’s exciting to finally have them removed. However, it’s important not to let all that time and those adjustments go to waste! With everyday wear and tear your newly moved teeth can start to shift again. Retainers keep your beautiful smile right where you want it.
Types of Retainers
There are essentially two types of retainers: removable and permanent. While your teeth are working through braces or Invisalign the ligaments that hold your teeth in place are looser with constant movement. When your teeth are at the optimal place – your orthodontist will then make a retainer to keep your teeth in place until your gums and ligaments harden and can keep your teeth in place. Your orthodontist may instruct you to keep your retainer on only at night, or certain hours during the day to maintain your fresh smile. Your orthodontist will choose the best retainer type for your teeth and lifestyle needs.
There are a few types of removable retainers, but most likely they are moulded clear plastic or a bendable wire and acrylic. These retainers fit right over your teeth similar to Invisalign. Orthodontists will make your removable retainer after your braces are removed so that your smile stays the same. For Invisalign wearers, many retainers are created from the very last retainer of their treatment. Because removable retainers are removable, it can be tricky to remember to wear them. If you think you may forget to put your retainer back in after eating or before bed, ask your Orthodontist about permanent retainers.
Permanent retainers are created when a thin wire is fixed behind the top or bottom row of teeth and left in for months or years. It can be very convenient to never worry about taking your retainer out or putting it back in. Your teeth will stay in place without any thought from you. Permanent retainers are invisible to others, as they are located on the inside of your teeth.
The most important thing to remember is: retainers are DEFINITELY worth wearing. It would be a shame to lose the beautiful smile your Orthodontist helped you achieve. With a good orthodontist they will help you select the optimal retainer – whether removable or permanent – for you.