Retainers are custom-fit appliances constructed of metal wires and plastic that your dentist can provide for you. After your dental treatment, a dental retainer is fabricated to fit your teeth to hold them in place, preventing them from shifting back to their original position.
Retainers are designed to be discreet, so you can wear them confidently without people knowing.
How Often Should You Wear a Retainer?
Retainers are meant to preserve your dental work. They are typically worn around the clock for the first few months following treatment. After this initial phase, you’ll only need to wear your retainer at night. Some patients may need to wear their retainer during the day if they grind their teeth at night.
Wearing a retainer is also important because it keeps your teeth from shifting. Over time, your teeth can shift, and your orthodontic work can lose its shape and effectiveness. They work to keep your teeth in place and prevent this shift.
What Are the Common Types of Retainers?
There are many different types of dental retainers, and your dentist will recommend the one that is best for you.
- Hawley retainer: A common type of retainer is made of acrylic and wire. This type is called a Hawley retainer. A Hawley retainer is removable but must be worn daily.
- Essix retainer: This style of retainer is custom-made from clear plastic. This retainer is very thin and comfortable. They are inexpensive and can last several years.
- Clear retainers: Clear retainers are a popular option for keeping your teeth aligned perfectly after orthodontic treatment. They are custom-made to fit your mouth and teeth. They are made of clear plastic, which makes them virtually invisible when worn.
- Fixed retainer: A fixed retainer is a dental appliance cemented on the lingual side of your teeth, which means behind the teeth, facing your tongue.
- Removable retainer: Removable retainer looks similar to a mouth guard and is made from acrylic.
What Are the Benefits of Using Retainers?
There are many reasons why patients may need to wear retainers after they have worn braces, such as:
- Retainers prevent your teeth from moving back into their crooked positions.
- They hold your teeth firmly in their new position.
- They can fill the tiny gaps between your roots and your gums.
- They prevent teeth from crowding again.
- They are often worn at night, so teeth should be firmly in place when you wake. If you don’t wear your retainer every night, your teeth will likely shift, and your retainer will not fit properly.
To learn more about our dental options, you can call Orthodontist in Salt Lake City, UT from your nearest location. We will be happy to help.