Don’t let your hard work go to waste!
Congratulations on completing your orthodontic treatment and achieving the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted!
However, the journey to maintaining your new smile is not yet over. In order to keep your teeth in their proper alignment and prevent any potential changes, it’s important to wear a retainer. Retainers are used to hold your teeth in place while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscles adapt to the new positioning of your teeth.
Types of Retainers
- Removable retainers are made of a clear plastic or acrylic material with a metal wire surrounding the front teeth. They fit over the teeth and are typically worn for a certain number of hours each day, depending on the orthodontist’s recommendations.
- Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth with a small wire. This type of retainer is often used for patients with particularly severe crowding or spacing issues. Fixed retainers are meant to be permanent and are usually only removed if they become damaged or if the orthodontist determines that they are no longer necessary.
- Aligner-style retainers are another option for those who may want something other than a traditional wire and acrylic retainer. These retainers are similar to clear aligners like Invisalign and are custom-made to fit over your teeth. They are made of a clear, thin plastic material that is virtually invisible, making them a popular choice for those who want to maintain the aesthetics of their smile.
Pros of Retainers
- Help preserve and stabilize orthodontic treatment results
- Prevent potential changes in tooth position
- Can be customized to fit each individual’s needs
- Variety of options available, including clear aligner-style retainers
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Typically less noticeable than braces
Cons of Retainers
- Must be worn consistently to maintain results
- Can be lost or damaged if not properly cared for
- May cause some initial discomfort or speech difficulties
- May require periodic adjustments by an orthodontist
- Some retainers may be visible when speaking or smiling