You just got your braces off, and a lifetime of straight smiles awaits! Now, the next step in your journey is to maintain the beautiful results of your orthodontic treatment with retainers. Retainers hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened.
In addition, your bones change as you age, so teeth retainers are a big part of your lifelong oral care. At River Falls Orthodontics, Dr. Norman and her Simpsonville team are here to help you continue a lifetime of straight smiles and maintain your results.
What is the Purpose of a Retainer?
The purpose of a retainer is to preserve and stabilize the results of your orthodontic treatment. Retainers control movement, limit potential changes in tooth position, and hold your teeth in their correct alignment. This helps the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle to acclimate to the new positioning of your teeth. There are a few different types of retainers, and Dr. Norman will determine which type is best for you and provide instructions on how to best care for your new retainer.
Types of Retainers
There are a few different types of retainers. Every retainer is custom-made to help each patient maintain their new smile.
- A traditional removable retainer is typically made up of metal wire that surrounds the outside of the front teeth attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of your mouth, or just behind your bottom front teeth.
- Clear plastic retainers are similar to InvisalignⓇ clear aligners, as they are a more discreet, aesthetically pleasing option.
- Fixed retainers are simply a metal wire bonded behind the front teeth. They are effective on either the top or bottom front teeth, but are most commonly used on the front bottom teeth. Depending on your needs, Dr. Norman may have you wear a fixed retainer for a certain period of time, such as a year, or for a lifetime.
Pros & Cons of the Different Types of Retainers
Each type of retainer has its own set of benefits for your smile, and the type of retainer you end up with will be based on your unique smile needs.
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating, as well as for brushing and flossing.
- For removable retainers, store them in a case when they are not being used. Also, bring a case with you when you go out to make sure they don’t get lost.
- If you don’t want to keep track of your removable retainer, a fixed retainer may work for you!
- Since fixed retainers are typically only used on bottom teeth, you may have a clear plastic retainer in addition to the fixed retainer.
- With a fixed retainer, pay extra attention to brushing and removing tartar while flossing. Floss threaders are a great tool to pass floss through the nooks and crannies between your fixed retainer and teeth.
How to Clean Your Retainer
Cleaning a retainer is simple! A toothbrush and toothpaste are all you need. Brush your retainer just like you’d brush your teeth. You may also choose to soak your retainer every once in a while. Talk to Dr. Norman about the best way to keep your retainer clean long-term.
If you lost your retainer, it’s broken, or it no longer fits, have no fear, we’re here to help you! If it hasn’t been long since you got your braces off, we’ll be able to create another one. If it has been a while since your treatment or your teeth have moved, we may ask you to come in for a consultation.
Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation Today!
If you have any questions about wearing your retainer, or you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation at our Simpsonville office, contact us today! Dr. Norman is here to make sure you achieve the smile of your dreams for the rest of your life.