The most natural way to replace a missing tooth.
Now that your braces are finally off, you might think that your orthodontic treatment is over. Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely true. Straightening your teeth is only half the battle. The other half is keeping them that way. That’s where dental retainers can be quite useful. Many people wear retainers for many years after getting their braces off to keep their teeth straight and their smile bright. Here’s everything you need to know about retainers so you can get into the habit of wearing your retainer correctly, with as minimal stress as possible!
What Are Retainers?
Retainers are pieces of plastic or metal that are custom-made for each person. No two retainers are the same. They’re made to match the shape of your mouth and the alignment of your teeth.
There are two general kinds of retainers:
Removable. These can be put in and taken out daily. They can be wire retainers (made of wire and a pink plastic-like material) or clear retainers (made of a transparent plastic-like material).
Fixed. These are made of thin, custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of your upper and/or lower teeth.
Why Do We Wear Dental Retainers?
So, what are retainers for? You might need a retainer for multiple reasons. Retainers are most commonly needed after braces come off so that the bone that holds the teeth can rebuild after the teeth have moved. Retainers also help to maintain the new positions of teeth after active orthodontic treatment has been completed.
In some other cases, your dentist may recommend a retainer to move a single tooth or to close a space between two teeth. In these cases, braces aren’t typically needed, and your may need to wear a retainer for several years to get the job done.
Retainers are useful for reasons other than shifting teeth. Some kids have a tongue thrust (a condition where the tongue slides through the teeth when you talk). Some retainers can be specially designed to train your tongue not to move forward when you speak.
Retainers can also help children with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), resulting from bruxism (grinding of the teeth). Retainers can help by preventing your child’s jaw from closing completely at night so that they won’t grind their teeth.
How to Get in the Habit of Wearing a Retainer
When you first starts wearing your retainer, your teeth might feel sore for a few days. While this is completely natural, it might make you not want to wear their retainer. Getting used to wearing a retainer can be a challenge. Be patient, and set a reminder to wear your retainer each night. It can take a while for this new habit to form. Hopefully, wearing a retainer will become a habit that will stay with you for life – just like having a beautiful smile!
I had a long overdue deep cleaning, root canal/crown, AND fillings within a month. Dr. Thurman, Morgan, Kathy and staff were very attentive and kind with not ONLY the procedures and explanations but with checking up on me after the root canal. Also great at helping me figure out my insurance coverage and payments. Dental Elements is GREAT.- Steve
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