Dental retainers

What are orthodontic retainers

A dental retainer is an orthodontic appliance (usually removable) that normally should be used once the orthodontist removed the braces. When braces are removed, teeth have a tendency to want to return to their original positions. Retainers act to prevent this from happening.

The upper dental retainers are made ​​of wire and hard plastic and shaped roof of the mouth. The lower retainers can be removable or permanently cemented to the lower teeth so they cannot escape.

During the first months, the retainers are usually worn full time. After that, the orthodontist will decide how often it should be used.

When the brackets are removed, it is very tempting for the patient not uses retainers. But to keep your teeth without moving and avoid having to use new equipment, it is essential to wear these retainers as often as the orthodontist has prescribed.

Retainers after braces

Why wear retainers?

During orthodontic treatment, bone and elastic tissue (periodontal ligament) around the teeth are manipulated to allow the teeth to move into their new positions. When the brackets are removed mouth needs time to adjust to the new tooth positions and retainers allow this to happen in an orderly manner.

What if the retainers are not used?

There is high possibility that the teeth move back to its original position. The elastic tissues around the teeth pull them back like rubber bands. Retainers always allow the body to produce new bone and elastic tissue in harmony with the new tooth positions.

Will they remain straight teeth forever?

Unfortunately, as we age, there is a natural tendency of the teeth to go twisting over time, especially the six lower front teeth. The only way to avoid this is to use long-term retainers during the time teeth are perfectly straight.

Types of Retainers

There are two main types of orthodontic retainers: those that are attached to the teeth by the orthodontist and that can be removed from the mouth. The most suitable type depends on many factors. The orthodontist will discuss with each patient their case and advise appropriately.

The removable retainers

The removable retainers are made ​​of plastic or a combination of plastic and metal. These must be removed from the mouth when eating, brushing and playing sports. The advantage of this is that the retainer can be removed for cleaning teeth and can feel confident that if used as directed by the orthodontist teeth always remain straight. Typically, this retention should be used full time for the first 3-6 months and then only by the night long run, even if it has been discharged from the clinic.

Clean the removable retainers

The removable retainers should be cleaned daily, while when the teeth are cleaned. Retainers should be washed in a sink with cold water and cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Care must be taken to clean the fitting surface and the metal components.

Fixed retainers

Fixed retainers are cemented to the inner surface of the teeth and are not visible to the eye. They have the advantage of being more aesthetic and less intrusive, however, are more difficult to clean and maintain. They are placed in certain clinical situations always dictated by the particular needs of each patient.

It is important to check and ensure that the fixed retainer is securely fastened to the teeth. This check can be done carefully with a toothpick or fingernail. If the retainer is loosened or broken it should go to an appointment to have it fixed as soon as possible.

Clean fixed retainers

A good brushing about fixed retainer is vital to maintaining oral cleaning properly. We recommend regular appointments with the dentist or hygienist especially if there is a tendency for the occurrence of tartar deposits around the teeth.

It is also important to clean between teeth flossing with fixed maintainers. There are special types of floss and brushes retainers available to do so. Once installed the retainer, the orthodontist will show how to perform cleanup fixed retainer.

What if a fixed retainer is broken or damaged? If part of the fixed retainer is loose without the patient was aware of it, there may be a movement of the teeth. This can make the teeth alignment is lost and to correct this will require replacement by new fixtures. Also, cavities may be formed on the metal rapidly, causing cavities.

What to do if you lose or break the retainers? In case you forgot or have been broken retainers should arranged an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to make a new retainer without too long. Otherwise, if the replacement is not done in a short time, you run the risk that the teeth move, out of alignment.

How often the orthodontist should check the fixed retainer? Retention will be checked periodically after removing the fixed orthodontics. Normally, after a year of monitoring retention, the patient will be discharged from the clinic. After being discharged, to be followed regularly checking retention. The dentist can control the retention during routine dental checkups. It is likely that professional tooth cleaning needed around retention as part of maintenance. If additional care is needed, can be provided by arranging a visit to the dentist.

Care of dental retainers

Very often, especially during adolescence, retainers are lost, broken or damaged. These facts can be frustrating for parents, especially since replacing retainers, whether fixed or removable can be quite expensive. After using braces, you’re likely to find the orthodontist necessitates the use of orthodontic retainers. The following tips can help take care of retainers:

  • During tooth brushing, brushing of removable retainers too. Rinse with cold or lukewarm water and put them back in your mouth.
  • Do not fall into the habit of flip tongue retainers. It can be a very tempting game (especially when they are new), but this habit usually ends up breaking the retainer.
  • Understand that the safest place for retainers is in the mouth. The moment which is extracted from the mouth should follow these tips: no enrrollar dental retainers in a napkin, towel or tissue, as it is more than likely are thus thrown away by mistake. Do not leave retainers in pockets or lose by the bag because it will break or forget. Last but not least, do not leave the retainers supported anywhere, as any child or animal could catch to get her attention, and end up breaking them.