Retainers after Braces
Retainer teeth is a special dental device that keeps teeth in the correct position and prevents them from moving. A retention structure cannot move the dentition – its main function is to keep the teeth in place. Therefore, the retainer is worn until the ligaments of the dentition are finally strengthened. So what is a retainer teeth, how it looks like and in what way will help keep the smile attractive?
Why are Retainers Needed
Unfortunately, for the formation of a beautiful, even smile, it’s not enough to use only braces or medical mouth guards – physiology works in such a way that the teeth that are in the right position tend to return to their original place. Retainers after braces are installed immediately after treatment. This is a necessary step, since dental elements, without correct fixation, can return to their anatomically incorrect position. The retention constructions prevent teeth moving after braces until the ligaments and bone tissue around the roots of the teeth are completely formed. Therefore, after the end of the main stage of treatment, the consolidation of the obtained result begins. The patient must understand that additional measures are needed to stabilize the teeth.
Best retainer after braces hold the row in position and prevent it from moving. It can take at least six months for make new position of the teeth permanent. Also, the obligatory stages between the removal of braces and retainers installation are hygienic cleaning of teeth and, if necessary, treatment of caries.
The most important feature of the retention period is the need to strictly adhere to the recommendations of the orthodontist. Sometimes patients forget to wear a permanent retainer after braces or even detach the pieces themselves, believing that further treatment is not required. This is an erroneous point of view, which can lead to the fact that the bite will return to its original state. The displacement occurs quite quickly, but initially, the process is invisible, and often patients realize that something is wrong when the dentition has moved a lot.
The straightening of the teeth occurs either due to a metal arch, which is attached to the dentition or by rigidly holding them in the desired position. The retainer copies the geometry of the dentition as accurately as possible, adheres tightly to it and fixes it. This will allow the wearing retainer after years without damage. Such structures are installed on the inside of the teeth and therefore remain invisible to other people.
What are the advantages of retainers?
- compact dimensions that do not interfere with diction and food intake;
- simple and reliable fixation to the teeth;
- high efficiency;
Retainer for teeth can sometimes cause temporary changes in diction and excessive salivation. However, these side effects gradually subside as the patient gets used to the orthodontic appliance in the mouth. In addition, wearing retainers requires more thorough hygiene and frequent visits to the dentist.
Types of Retainers after Braces
The retention period is an integral part of orthodontic therapy after wearing braces. To fix the result, two main types of retainers after braces are used.
Fixed metal retainer for teeth. They look like a thin metal arch and are fixed to several dental elements from the inner side of the row. Usually, a fixed retainer is installed on both the upper and lower jaw. A thin metal wire (in some cases, metal tape) is fixed with a filling material on the 6 front teeth from the inside. The installation process is absolutely painless and fast enough: a special compound is applied to the teeth to protect the enamel and increase its adhesion to the composite. Then the arc is attached to the surface with a filling material. Excess composite is removed and the surfaces are sanded. The procedure takes about half an hour. Removing the retainer to straighten the teeth also does not take much time – the orthodontist carefully separates the arch-retaining composite and grinds the teeth to remove the remaining material.
This area requires constant but uncomplicated care. Teeth need to be brushed more thoroughly, as the arc can make it harder to reach them. It’s useful to use an irrigator, if necessary – rinses. Regular dental check-ups are also required – the doctor will perform a professional cleaning and check for caries or other diseases.
Detachable plastic retainers for teeth. It’s a mouth guard or plastic plate with a metal arc. Removable ones are worn according to a schedule determined by a doctor: most often it’s either only overnight wear or overnight and several hours during the day.
Retainers are usually made for both dental arches, made of hypoallergenic plastic according to an individual impression of the jaw. The material is invisible even from a close distance, so wearing it during the day at work or school will not cause problems. The plate follows the shape of the gums, and the metal arcs fix the teeth. In addition, removable devices have several advantages:
- minimum habituation period;
- do not restrict food intake;
- do not complicate hygiene – again, due to removability;
- easy to care for – they are cleaned with a regular toothbrush, periodically washed in a disinfecting solution.
It’s worth buying a special container for storage. This will keep the retainers clean, prevent breakage and affect how long does a retainer lasts. The main disadvantage of the mouthguard and the plate is the need to independently monitor their wearing. Weak patient discipline (especially adolescents) and prolonged absences in wearing can negatively affect the beauty of a smile.
In orthodontic practice, a combined option is also often used – a fixed retainer and a mouthguard. The question of how long to wear retainers is always individual and depends on the patient's age, malocclusion and other factors. The average term is two terms of wearing braces, and non-removable structures can be installed for a lifetime.
The use of retainers guarantees a positive result, as the teeth are securely fixed. They are easy to use, easy and comfortable to wear and have an aesthetic appearance. Retainers will help maintain the aesthetic result of dental treatment. To do this, follow the recommendations of your dentist and enjoy the result.